“Today is a sad day for New York taxpayers. The 2009-10 State Budget increases spending ten percent over last year’s budget and includes $7 billion in tax and fee increases. This will do further harm to already struggling middle-class families and job-creating businesses. It is unfortunate that my Majority colleagues just don’t get it! We cannot tax and spend our way out of an economic recession, nor can we simply continue to borrow. The state missed a golden opportunity to scale back on wasteful government spending and offer property tax reform that will allow money to be available for investment in our communities. To make matters worse, the property tax rebate check program has been eliminated.
The governor and the two majority leaders failed the people of New York miserably. Had this budget been vetted properly in the media and with public hearings, sensible ideas could have been considered and tax increases could have been avoided. Secretive budget negotiations essentially disenfranchised every state citizen living outside of New York City where the three legislative leaders reside. This year’s shameful budget process further demonstrates that here in New York the principles of democracy and open government are quickly trampled for the sake of political expediency. It is disgraceful and the people of New York deserve a more responsible and accountable state government.
It is for these reasons that I voted against this year’s budget, one that does absolutely nothing to dig our state out of this economic recession.”