I am very concerned about where the budget process is headed. Against the backdrop of a nearly $15 billion deficit, a debt of almost $55 billion, and the continued loss of thousands of jobs, the governorís proposed cuts foreshadow further economic hardship for our state and its residents.
My colleagues and I will carefully review the governorís budget proposal in the days ahead to ensure that we are being responsible about spending so that the best solutions are chosen. My biggest concern with the proposed budget as presented would be the likely effects that will develop from cutting aid to our school districts and to essential healthcare. We are certain that if these cuts are allowed to happen, the result will be large increases in already high property taxes, as well as the diminishment of quality affordable healthcare.
Long Islanders simply cannot bear the burden of additional financial hardship in this already devastating financial climate. I am respectfully asking the governor to reconsider the drastic proposed cuts to education and healthcare, as well as tax relief initiatives such as the Middle Class STAR Rebate program.
Responsibility starts with cutting taxes and providing relief to Long Island taxpayers, and eliminating wasteful government spending. All across New York state, people are losing their jobs and businesses are failing. Conditions on Long Island are being exacerbated by the high cost of living, lack of affordable housing, and the continually escalating property taxes.
As we move forward with budget negotiations, I will fight to pass a budget that is balanced, financially responsible, helps create jobs and does not raise taxes.