In lieu of sobering reports released this week from the NYS Division of Budget on the state of New York’s finances, Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) called on the governor to urge legislators to come back to Albany to pass massive spending reductions to balance a projected five-year, $38 billion budget deficit.
“The indicators clearly paint a grim picture in regard to state finances,” said Fitzpatrick. “Revenues are down, spending is up, and high taxes continue to impede any opportunity for New York to pull ourselves out of our current fiscal crisis. New York has the highest property and business taxes in the nation, unsustainable entitlement programs, and an antiquated public pension system on the brink of insolvency. If the governor is unwilling to propose specific cuts, then it’s time for the Assembly to reconvene to do the job we were elected to do, and that is making the tough decisions necessary to restore our fiscal health.”
On Monday, Governor Paterson announced that the state deficit had grown over $80 million every day for the past eight months. Instead of offering proposals to cut the budget, the governor said that it was time for legislative leaders to work on a plan.
“The era for three-men-in-a-room is over,” said Fitzpatrick. “Albany spending has been on steroids for years. As a result, state finances are in dire straits, and taxpayers, especially overburdened Long Islanders, are struggling to make ends meet. Temporary fixes have proven ineffective. Just this week, it was revealed that the state raided the $250 million Department of Environmental Conservation fund, dedicated to maintaining the environment, agriculture and water resources, to try to reduce the budget deficit. That’s not the first time that the state has resorted to this type of behavior to solve our budget problems and it won’t be the last. It’s time to get back to work. If we wait until January, the situation will only worsen.”