Assemblyman James N. Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady, Saratoga) today announced that he will wear his "pass the budget" tie every day until the state budget is passed.
"For the past 20 years, the state budget has been late. This dysfunctional budget process is so serious that, if we didn’t laugh on occasion, we would cry. But my colleagues in the minority conference and I are dead serious about getting it done on time. And we are asking our majority colleagues and Speaker Sheldon Silver to be dead serious about it also. The message is ‘just pass the budget.’ That’s why I’m saying to my colleagues and the Assembly speaker, ‘read my necktie,’" said Tedisco.
Tedisco stated that his black tie, with the message "pass the budget" embroidered in block letters down the front, is not intended to make a fashion statement, but rather a legislative accountability statement. He said the No. 1 priority should be an on-time, balanced budget.
"It’s time to get in legislators’ faces. Every time my colleagues see me, until the budget is passed, they will be reminded of the urgency and their responsibility to pass the first balanced, on-time budget in 21 years. We have a responsibility to the people of New York state to pass this budget before April 1," Tedisco said. "If we cannot guarantee the people that much, then all of the legislative reforms we have passed will have been in vain.
"Twenty straight years of late budgets have shown us one thing: that late budgets are not just tied to revenue or spending priorities. Budgets have been late in years when there have been large surpluses, and in years when there have been deficits. What has been missing in these past 20 years is the will to get it done. Having a budget in place by April 1 has lost its urgency in the state Legislature. We need to get that sense of urgency back by sending a message every day to pass the budget."
Tedisco’s hope is that his pledge to wear the tie every day will provide his colleagues and majority leaders with the constant reminder that passing the budget is the Legislature’s primary responsibility. "They will see it in the hallways, in the elevators, in committee meetings and throughout the Capitol. I will not take it off until the budget is finally approved," Tedisco added.