“Today, Governor David Paterson unveiled his 2009-2010 Executive Budget, a month before he is constitutionally required to do so. Clearly, he understands the severity of the situation and realizes that we must get to work now in order to produce a budget that will put our economy back on the road to recovery.
Against a backdrop of a nearly $15 billion deficit and a debt of almost $55 billion, while thousands of private-sector jobs continue to leave our state, this year’s budget negotiations will not only be difficult but painful for many. New York doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. We must look at ways to invest in our economy, especially in Upstate New York, while reining in excessive state spending through the elimination of unnecessary programs and pork-barrel projects. At the same time, we must consolidate government services and enact comprehensive property tax relief to lessen the burden placed on local taxpayers. Raising taxes on middle-class families and small businesses, as the Governor proposes, to the tune of almost $4 billion will be counterproductive and, therefore, should be removed from the final budget.
Now is the time to get to work, put partisan politics aside and craft a state spending plan that will dig us out of this deep fiscal hole. New York needs a budget that is balanced, fiscally responsible and doesn’t raise taxes. We need a spending blueprint that provides targeted investments that will jumpstart our economy and create more jobs, especially here in Upstate New York. Rest assured, I will fight for a more just budget because Upstate residents cannot afford to pay one more dime of increased taxes and new fees.”