Assemblyman Joseph Saladino points out the state budget deadline clock the Assembly minority unveiled to remind all legislators that a new spending plan must be adopted by April 1.
According to Saladino, the clock is on display outside the office of the Assembly Minority Leader Charles H. Nesbitt (R,C,I-Albion) in the Capitol as a reminder to Gov. George Pataki and the Legislature of the importance of passing an on-time budget.
"We’re putting everyone involved with the budget process in Albany on notice to make sure they remove all the hurdles to an on-time budget," said Saladino. "The clock is ticking and if a budget is not in place by April 1, the voters in this state will be heard."
Saladino, an assemblyman for the past year, said he is highly motivated to bring government reform to Albany. He has advocated reform at all levels of state government, with the highest priority given to an on-time budget. "I was elected by the voters in the 12th Assembly District to go to Albany and motivate the Legislature into making reform a reality," said Saladino. "I’m determined to make this year the first in 21 years that a budget has been passed on time. If necessary, I am committed to staying in Albany and working around the clock to get a budget done by the deadline."
Saladino continued, "We must not let anything get in the way of that goal. I am calling on all of my colleagues in the Assembly majority and minority to go full throttle in following the Senate’s lead to get the job done."
Saladino said he is happy with the ongoing, public five-way budget meetings that have taken place the past several weeks involving the governor and the minority and majority leaders of both houses. Open debate on the budget and the budget process is something that Assembly Republicans have been striving to accomplish for years, the lawmaker said.
Saladino explained that a cornerstone of his conference’s budget reform package – requiring the comptroller to be the final arbitrator on revenues if an agreement couldn’t be reached by March 10 – was agreed to by the governor and legislative leaders earlier this year. This option was not needed because the five leaders were able to come to an anticipated revenue consensus prior to the deadline.