The 2009-10 New York State budget is riddled with enormous increases in spending, excessive taxes and fees, and historic levels of borrowing. Crafted behind closed doors by “three men in a room,” all Majority members from New York City, the budget blatantly ignores the fiscal crisis of our state and nation. Accordingly, I voted against the entire 2009-10 budget.
The overall budget increases spending from $120 billion in 2008-09 to $131.7 billion for 2009-10, nearly a 10% jump. It is balanced by adding $7 billion in new fees and taxes, borrowing $5.3 billion and using $6 billion in federal stimulus money.
Under this misguided spending plan, homeowners will lose their STAR rebate checks, students will pay more to attend SUNY colleges, families and businesses will pay more for electricity and natural gas, everyone will pay more for their cell phone, it will cost more to renew your driver’s license or register your vehicle, sportsmen will pay more for licenses, and the list goes on and on.
Instead of setting our state on a course of economic recovery, I fear the budget’s higher spending, taxing and borrowing will likely drive more New Yorkers to states where it is less expensive to live and run a business, because the state’s spending plan does not reflect reality. It should be fixing structural spending problems rather than relying on temporary federal stimulus funds to shore up today’s spending binge. Despite this year’s budget disaster, I will be working until the end of the 2009 Legislative Session to counter this ill-conceived budget and remedy New York’s structural spending problem.