This afternoon I received Governor Paterson's deficit reduction proposal. In this challenging economic climate I commend him and Lt. Governor Richard Ravitch for addressing the state's serious budget shortfall, which is now estimated at $3 billion.
Assembly Ways and Means Chairman Herman D. Farrell has scheduled hearings for Wednesday, October 21, in Albany, and Friday, October 23, in Syracuse, to seek input from the public on the Governor's proposal. Additionally, I will be holding regional conferences with members of the Majority Conference next Monday, October 19, Tuesday, October 20, and Wednesday, October 21.
Although the current deficit presents serious challenges to us, the Assembly worked successfully with the Governor and Senate in August 2008, in February 2009 and again in April when we closed an historic $17 billion budget gap.
The Assembly Majority is committed to making the necessary decisions to put the state on secure financial footing. We look forward to working with the Governor and with the Senate to address this very serious issue.