Ill-Conceived Deficit Plan Will Hurt Residents

Statement by Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R,C,I-Canandaigua)
February 3, 2009

“In a mad dash to reduce our state’s $1.6 billion deficit, the majority leaders of the legislature and the Governor failed to recognize the additional pain residents will face upon its implementation. Even worse, the negotiations were done by the three legislative leaders, all from New York City, behind closed doors with no input from minority conferences of either house, so the resulting debt reduction package will make changes that hit upstate residents particularly hard. This reduction plan did not cut any state agencies, did not eliminate any state commissions, did not create any consolidations nor did it reduce any of the state personnel payroll.

Instead, it took $68 million from SUNY students and levied a $120 million assessment on health insurance companies that surely will be passed along to consumers; this plan will be hardest felt in regions where families and businesses are already struggling to survive. We cannot expect to balance the budget by raiding funds and increasing burdens on middle-class New Yorkers. If the Governor and the majority leaders of the state legislature continue to act this way, one day they will wake up and discover they have bankrupt the state.

This is an ill-conceived plan that doesn’t do what is necessary to put our economy back on track, such as reduce taxes and create jobs. Had the process been open, a much better plan could have been constructed; but, for now, we must endure the consequences of poorly drafted legislation.”