The 2010-11 New York state budget is now officially late. Unfortunately, partisan politics has derailed the budget process once again, resulting in another late budget.
One month prior to the budget deadline, I was appointed to serve on the bi-partisan Mental Hygiene Budget Conference Committee. The purpose of budget conference committees is to work out the details in their specific budget bill after revenue has been agreed upon and distributed by the General Conference Committee. My colleagues in the Assembly Minority Conference and I were ready and willing to conduct these meetings but, unfortunately, the Majority chose never to convene them.
The residents of New York deserve better than having a late budget year after year. They deserve a state budget that is fiscally responsible and does not spend more than the revenue that is coming in. This year, we also need to make our state more affordable for families and small businesses. Residents are leaving our state at an alarming rate; we need to stem this tide by lowering taxes and encouraging job creation so more people can afford to call New York home. I am hopeful that my colleagues and I will be able to work in a bi-partisan manner in order to deliver to the citizens of New York a budget that accomplishes these goals.