Assemblyman Joseph Saladino recently announced that Gov. Spitzer and State lawmakers are arriving at a budget compromise, which will lead to an on-time state budget. The impasse, which threatens the timeliness of the budget, is that Long Island Senate majority and Assembly minority members are refusing to go along with a budget that offered only small increases in state aid to Long Island school districts.
“I am very happy to be a part of an on-time budget. One of the reasons I came to Albany was to work toward more accountability and timeliness in the state’s budget process. However, far more important than an on-time budget, is a good budget that fully funds education for our children and brings real property tax relief to homeowners. The Senate majority and the Assembly minority have sent a very strong message, and that is, Long Island taxpayers must not be forgotten during the budget process,” said Saladino.
“The budget that lawmakers are moving to adopt spends a record $122 billion. Each year we increase the budget by leaps and bounds. New York City schools and programs receive the lion’s share of increases. I have fought for Long Island’s fair share, especially in terms of education funding and property tax relief. I hope in the future that the Governor will understand that we should slow the growth of spending and provide our region with a more equitable portion of the resources. Taxpayers are already overburdened and deserve their fair share,” said Assemblyman Saladino.
The new budget plan would return more funding to hospitals, where cuts have threatened a drop in the level of patient care and possible layoffs to staff. Pressure from Senators Skelos, Marcellino, Hannon, Fuschillo, Assemblyman Saladino and their respective colleagues helped to push Governor Spitzer to add upwards of $500 billion in additional aid for education that includes Nassau County school districts.
“By bringing home more for Long Island schools we are helping to minimize property tax increases,” stated Assemblyman Saladino. “This has been a difficult process, but I am cautiously optimistic that these efforts will result in a budget that is far better for our children, homeowners, hospitals, healthcare and our schools. And, if it is an on-time budget that is icing on the cake.”