Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,I,C-East Northport) today reacted to the two-year, $5 billion deficit reduction plan issued by Governor David Paterson. Paterson’s Deficit Reduction Plan (DRP), subject to legislative approval, would make its severest cuts to towns, cities, and villages by slashing $1.3 billion in vital local assistance programs and further reducing school aid to Long Island’s tax-strapped families.
“Governor Paterson’s overdue deficit scheme hurts Long Islanders by passing the blame and shifting more costs to local taxpayers, leading inevitably to higher property taxes,” said Raia. “A full forty-four percent of the DRP involves scaling back further aid to localities already hit hard by falling sales tax collections, even though this local assistance was not increased in the bloated, $132 billion state budget the governor pushed the Legislature to pass. Under the Paterson plan, school aid, too, will be ‘restructured’; namely to continue to protect the governor’s politically-connected school districts from hard choices of any kind. After months of stalling – including five weeks of non-leadership during the Senate chaos that crippled state government and made New York a laughingstock – Governor Paterson has presented us with the Great Cost Shift, defunding programs which will result in higher taxes and fewer services for Long Island’s hard-working families.”