ALBANY, NY – With just 28 days remaining until New York’s April 1 fiscal deadline when the 2010-11 State Budget is due, Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) today said all 212 legislators and Governor David Paterson “need to focus on deliberations, not distractions.” Kolb announced the Assembly Minority Conference’s appointees to the Joint Budget Conference Committee, saying it was part of an effort to try and jumpstart budget deliberations and achieve a fiscally responsible, on-time spending plan despite the media firestorm and controversies surrounding the Governor that have become a major distraction for media and policy makers alike.
As specified under the Budget Reform Act of 2007, the Legislature is required to utilize a Conference Committee process between the Assembly and Senate to organize budgetary deliberations, set priorities and facilitate timely agreement on a state spending plan. In the past, Conference Committees have been used to move public budget negotiations forward and break the cycle of three-men-in-a-room that had previously been utilized to decide the state’s budget.
“There is no question that the controversies and allegations concerning Governor Paterson, along with the media firestorm, has made achieving progress on the 2010-11 State Budget extremely difficult, if not impossible, as it has consumed the time and attention of legislators and the press,” Kolb said.
“However, despite the allegations, taxpayers want us to get back to work and focus on the primary responsibility for all 212 legislators and the Governor alike: passing the State’s Budget and doing so by New York’s April 1 fiscal deadline. That is what the people expect and that is what we must deliver. What we cannot do is go back to the bad old days when New York’s budget was routinely late or decided in virtual secrecy the way last year’s was,” Kolb stated.
“I announced our Conference’s appointments to the Joint Budget Conference Committee to help move the budget process forward and refocus legislators and the media on what truly matters: adopting a timely fiscal blueprint that will help New York navigate the perfect financial storm. Our conferees will advocate for a fiscally responsible budget that supports private sector job creation, delivers real tax relief and reduces government spending. These are our priorities and what we believe the budget should reflect – with only 28 days remaining before the budget is due, we cannot afford to waste any more time,” Kolb concluded.
Click here to view a copy of the Assembly Minority Conference’s appointments to the Budget Conference Committee.