In the midst of an unprecedented global financial crisis that threatens our economic security, Governor David Paterson has released his 2009-2010 Executive Budget for New York State. Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner (D, WFP – Upper East Side/Yorkville/Roosevelt Island) is supportive of several of the Governor’s proposals, including increases to the fees paid by New York State drivers, however he will continue to advocate for fair and equitable cuts in spending and increases in fees and taxes.
Assembly Member Kellner is pleased of the inclusion of two new revenue-increasing initiatives from the Governor – the first is a 25% increase on car registration fees and the second is a 25% increase in driver license fees. Assembly Member Kellner wrote to the Governor in November to advocate for their inclusion is happy to see them included in the budget. However, he is disappointed that these fees are not designated for mass transit funding as he suggested, but rather to plug holes in the general operating budget.
The Assembly Member is also concerned about funding cuts to several programs like Bridges to Health, which he wrote to the Governor about in November along with State Senator Tom Duane. The program provides services to medically fragile, severely traumatized, and chronically disabled children in the foster care system. The new Executive Budget has put its implementation on hold indefinitely.
“The Executive Budget is the result of a painful reality of our difficult economic situation,” Assembly Member Kellner said. “I am very aware of the obligation that I share with my colleagues to ensure that necessary cuts and tax increases are done in such a way to ensures that higher education remains affordable, the commitment to funding our schools is maintained, quality health care is available to every New Yorker, and that mass transit is adequately funded.”