Assemblyman Raiaís Statement on Governorís Executive Budget

January 22, 2008

With the current economic climate in this state being gloomy and with Gov. Spitzerís plan to increase spending 5.1 percent - higher than the rate of inflation - I believe this budget, which is full of gimmicks and offers no long-term solutions to real problems, is bad for Long Island.

I am disappointed that the governor plans to increase foundation aid to schools by only $899 million, despite an expected projected increase of $1.24 billion for this fiscal year. This shortfall leaves our students suffering and middle-class taxpayers with the growing problem of, once again, paying for those shortfalls in the form of increased taxes. Instead of trying to sell development rights to Belmont Park while simultaneously cutting school aid to Long Island to finance his bloated budget, the governor should find more effective ways to deal with the problems facing our state. The governor must not delay in giving a STAR tax cut to middle-class property owners and find a solution that will give long-term relief that is needed and long overdue.

I will work diligently with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that everyone in this state is well represented in our state government. We must turn back these initiatives and offer real long-term solutions that will have a real impact on real people.