Assemblywoman Russell Votes No on Budget Extenders

Governor’s plan unfairly targets the North Country
May 24, 2010

“I voted no on today’s budget extenders because the governor’s proposal to sweep $65 million from NYPA reserves without dedicating any of that funding to St. Lawrence County, a host county for one of NYPA’s hydro-power generating facility, is further proof he is not concerned with the issues that affect our region. It is unfortunate the governor continues to target the North Country after proposing closures of our prisons and parks, sweeping our snowmobile and agriculture funds, and proposing to send the power generated in our back yards downstate.

“In addition, I firmly disagree with the governor’s proposal to bail out the New York Racing Association with an up to $25 million taxpayer funded loan, which was also included in the budget extenders. Our priorities should be ensuring our hard working families have access to their public resources. With Memorial Day approaching, and the uncertainty of our parks being open, I cannot consciously support a proposal that bails out one region of the state to the benefit of the wealthy elite of the racing industry. Now, more than ever our families need inexpensive, local recreational activities that can be found in our state parks.

“The governor is balancing his budget on the backs of too many of our North Country working families by targeting us with layoffs and closures, reductions in services, higher taxes, and massive cuts to education that will lead to higher property taxes – now he is bailing out the racing industry. I will continue fighting every step of the way to ensure our region is treated fairly. I will continue my advocacy on the issues that matter most to the North Country until the last drop of ink is dry on a final budget.”