Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) spoke out today against the excessive state spending in this year’s budget, and urged his fellow legislators to begin demonstrating fiscal restraint. This year’s historically bloated state budget will place additional strain on the state’s overburdened taxpayers, and contains zero measures to reduce New York’s out of control debt.
“The Governor lectured the entire legislature to begin saying no to special interests and reduce spending,” said Fitzpatrick. “The Governor himself started out with a budget that spent far too much, and then allowed legislative leaders to spend more even though the New York State Comptroller deemed the projected out-year deficits in that original proposed spending plan unsustainable. If we are going to reduce the strain on our overburdened taxpayers throughout New York and reduce our sizable state debt, we need to begin demonstrating fiscal discipline.”
The $121 billion state budget includes 8.7% in state spending, well above the rate of inflation. To pay for the spending, the Governor and legislative leaders will increase taxes by $499 million for this year and $607 million over the next three years.
“With every binge, comes a hangover, and the legislature’s spending binge is leading to a taxpayer hangover,” said Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick also expressed displeasure with the lack of debt reduction. Currently, New York State debt stands at $48 billion, at a cost of $2,425 per person per year, the fifth highest per capita debt in the nation, trailing only Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and New Jersey. The burden is incurred through backdoor borrowing, which is simply passed on to taxpayers. With each passing year, the debt accumulates, and the budget contains no adequate measures to reduce the burden on future generations.
“State spending continues to spiral out of control,” said Fitzpatrick. “We can never reduce New York’s sizable debt without taking a pragmatic look at where we are spending our money. If we want to reduce the burden we’re placing on future generations - on our children and their children - we need real reform. ”
Fitzpatrick noted that thanks to the Minority Senate, the final budget is fairer to the needs of Long Islanders than the budget proposed by the Governor. Unfortunately, the overall bloat and refusal to deal with spending or debt made the budget impossible to support.