Giglio: Budget Is More Of The Same

April 1, 2007

The state Legislature today enacted an approximately $122 billion state budget, a spending plan that was passed late for the first time in three years. Assemblyman Joe Giglio (R,I,C-Gowanda) said he was disappointed with a hurried process that failed to deliver an on-time state budget that he calls “irresponsible and more of the same.”

“Despite some bright spots, this budget is a great disappointment for the overburdened taxpayers of New York state,” said Giglio, who pointed to funding for education and health care as important areas of need.

“This government is continuing its habit of taxing and spending as it continues to spend beyond the rate of inflation and offers no measures for paying down the state debt. If we all handled our own money in the same way New York state does, we would all be bankrupt,” added Giglio.

Part of last minute negotiations yielded the return of STAR rebate checks for the new fiscal year. While most homeowners will see an increase in their rebate checks this year from a year ago, Giglio says it is still not enough but is a small step in the right direction toward offering the much needed relief homeowners have been calling for.

On Medicaid reform, Giglio said little has been done to address the $4.5 billion in annual fraud, waste and abuse. “As a former Inspector General, I have seen government fraud and waste at its worst,” said Giglio. “The money that is lost as a result of a flawed Medicaid fraud recovery system is wasted taxpayer dollars. It must be aggressively pursued, and returned to the people.”

Giglio has been critical of the budget negotiations as most meetings were held behind closed doors and out of public view. “I am hopeful that all involved will learn from this year’s failures and make the necessary adjustments next year to bring about a more efficient and effective public process.”