"Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his 2011-12 Executive Budget today and, as promised, it begins the long overdue, and at times painful, process of restructuring, redesigning and reforming state government by taking concrete steps toward reducing its cost and size. The fact that New York's day of fiscal reckoning has finally arrived should not come as a surprise to anyone. Year after year, budget after budget, session after session, our Assembly Minority Conference and I continually voted against, and publicly warned, that Albany's culture of fiscal irresponsibility was leading to record deficits and debt, record spending and record levels of job-killing taxation. I applaud the Governor for not only 'talking the talk' but 'walking the walk' in rejecting tax hikes as a means of closing the deficit. New York has been there, done that, and it has not worked.
The Governor's budget marks the beginning - not the end - of the budget process. In the days ahead, my colleagues and I will carefully review the Governor's plan and specifically focus on ways to provide local governments, school districts and taxpayers with real cost relief from Albany mandates and other hidden cost drivers that lead to higher property taxes. What we cannot do - and what our Conference and I will refuse to accept - is Albany trying to balance the books by passing the buck, and its costs, onto the backs of local communities. Mandate relief must be a top priority for this budget cycle."