Assemblyman Bob Oaks (R,C-Macedon) joined other members of the Assembly Minority Conference this morning to outline proposed solutions to New York’s widening budget gap. Despite the fact that the state budget deficit is currently estimated to be $3.2 billion and is predicted to grow to over $7.3 billion for the next fiscal year, state legislators from the majority party in both houses have been silent in offering alternatives to Governor Paterson’s proposed cuts.
In the face of a growing budget crisis, the Assembly Minority has come up with numerous ideas to amend the Governor’s planned cuts without negatively impacting New York’s already over-burdened property taxpayers.
“Back in March, when the Governor and downstate legislative leaders created this irresponsible budget in total secrecy, I warned that the billions of dollars in extra spending and the job-killing tax and fee increases would cause a budgetary shortfall and hurt taxpayers,” said Assemblyman Oaks. “Once the Governor began acknowledging that there was a large shortfall, I have been working with my colleagues to find logical, sensible ideas to address our budget problems.”
“I believe our proposals are realistic and balance the demands of taxpayers who feel enough is enough and the needs of the state’s top funding priorities, education and healthcare,” said Assemblyman Oaks.
Just a few of the budget gap solutions identified are consolidating certain state agencies, eliminating unnecessary state commissions, putting a moratorium on purchasing additional state lands and reducing the state workforce through attrition. “These are just a beginning,” said Oaks. “We need to solve this year’s short-term budget problems and then we need to get a handle on future budgets. I think the Governor and the legislature should agree to put a hold on any new state regulations and any new state programs at least for the next year while we spend time figuring out what cuts can be made and what regulations can be changed,” concluded Assemblyman Oaks.