Early Wednesday morning the state Assembly finally voted on a Deficit Reduction Plan. In a time when the current state budget is $3.2 billion and growing, coming to an agreement on this legislation was the number one priority. The most important step in the Deficit Reduction Plan should have been cutting government spending. Unfortunately, this did not occur and, instead, this plan simply serves to provide a band-aid fix for our current crisis by providing one-shot revenue generators and gimmicks. Education funds, for example, that were intended for next year’s budget, were “spun up” to this year’s budget. This decision may have helped close this year’s budget deficit, however, it only defers the problem to next year - a typical political election-cycle move.
Cuts also were made in Aid to Municipalities that unfairly target selected areas around the state, including Rochester. These cuts to local governments are unnecessary given the alternative solutions I provided to the Democrat majority that would do little to hurt local governments and hardworking New Yorkers. What we should be doing is providing long-term solutions through creating a more proactive rather than reactive government, something this plan ultimately does not offer. Due to the Deficit Reduction Plan’s current failure to address our state’s long-term economic crisis, I am forced to vote against this legislation.