Oaks: Budget Far From Perfect, But Good First Step
“The New York State Legislature joined with Governor Cuomo in taking an important first step toward gaining control of our state’s fiscal future by completing the 2011-12 New York State Budget on time and by closing a $10 billion gap without raising taxes and increasing state borrowing.
“Many of the decisions contained within the budget were painful, but it reflects the fiscal realities of our state. New York State is at a crossroads. The recent census shows most of upstate New York has experienced a decade of population stagnation and many areas population decline. For every job we’ve added in our region over the past 10 years another has been lost. We cannot withstand another decade with such results.
“The budget is far from perfect. I am concerned that there is no mandate relief, that it continues disproportionate cuts to many lower wealth upstate schools, and it shifts some state costs to county governments and school districts.
“The fact that it shrinks state government and cuts overall state spending for the first time in 16 years, however, provided the basis for my positive vote; and I hope now, finally, it positions our state for a brighter future.”