Tedisco: Pass On The Taxpayer-Funded Game Of Finger Pointing

Don’t bring back the Legislature without a deficit reduction plan agreement
November 5, 2009
“Here we go again,” said Assemblyman James N. Tedisco (R,I,C-Schenectady/Saratoga). “The Governor, at a taxpayer cost of $71,000 per day, is calling the state Legislature back into session to allegedly tackle the $3 billion state budget gap. The Governor knows full well that without an agreement with the Speaker and whoever now leads the Senate Majority nothing, but a waste of taxpayers’ dollars, will be accomplished. As has happened so many times before, the Governor proposes his plan, expecting legislative leaders to act without first negotiating a consensus. This is followed by a taxpayer-funded game of finger pointing and attempts to shift the blame for current problems rather than trying to actually solve them.

Tedisco is encouraging the creation of a deficit reduction plan agreement before rank-and-file legislators are asked to return to Albany. Tedisco and members of his Assembly Minority Conference have identified $3 billion in cuts to state spending, saving taxpayer money and closing the state budget gap.

Without action, New York State will be unable to pay several bills that are due in December, added Tedisco. These include $2.5 billion for STAR property tax relief, $1.6 billion in school aid, $460 million for Aid to Municipalities (AIM), $700 to $800 million for mass transportation, $150 to $250 million for Medicaid and $600 million for various social programs.

“Absent an agreement, lawmakers are set to waste taxpayer dollars while not doing a darn thing to help our state’s struggling economy. We can start by scaling back on government waste and frivolous spending in an effort to make up for lost revenue. We simply cannot tax and spend our way to fiscal recovery,” said Tedisco. “However, wasting more taxpayer money on a fruitless legislative session is adding insult to injury. The people of this state want and deserve better. We must build an agreement - one that closes the budget gap and maps out a long-term plan to offset declining revenue with cuts to unsustainable state spending.”

“People are tired of listening to the same song from their elected state representatives. We have to change the tune, starting with a bi-partisan agreement to reduce our growing state deficit,” concluded Tedisco.