“Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R,C,I-Greece) today announced his dissatisfaction with the budget deficit reduction proposals created by Governor David Paterson. The Governor invited Senate Majority Leader Malcom Smith and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver only to participate in the discussions of this proposal, all three of which are majority members from New York City.
“I am disappointed that the Governor would solely invite two New York City democrats to participate in these budget deficit discussions; not only is this a disgrace to the democratic process in New York, but it is a slap in the face to Upstate New Yorkers and those in Monroe County. These budget cuts significantly hurt Upstate and Western New York and create a higher tax burden on New Yorkers as a whole.
“The Governor’s budget deficit proposal will not only increase New York families’ premiums on health care by one-third, but also misappropriates the increased revenue from SUNY that should be utilized by these institutions, and it also cuts funds for the New York Power Authority Fund that could be used to create jobs. I am highly disappointed in the Governor’s decision to place a heavier burden on New York families that have already tightened their belts significantly.
“As I have mentioned on countless occasions, we cannot tax ourselves out of this current economic crisis. What we needed to do was put partisan politics aside; unfortunately, it was stated on the floor in a late session tonight by the democratic majority, that ‘it’s all politics’. I am deeply disappointed by this statement and even more disappointed that so many of our citizens will be bearing the burdens of this budget without any input from their representatives.
“By limiting discussions to three men in a room the Governor has not only cut off representation of an entire political party, he silenced the voices of 5 million residents of our
state, and that is unacceptable. I call on the Governor to abandon these displays of partisan politics and to think of all New Yorkers as we create a solution to New York’s growing budget problems.
“In the interest of the taxpayers of New York state and in my desire to truly advance and support a more open and transparent budget process I voted against these proposals. Regrettably, the measures passed; however, I will continue my commitment to the residents in my district and Monroe County and be the voice of each and every family and business I represent. We must join together in this time of fiscal crisis and be sure we are counted.”