Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel: State Legislature Closes New York State’s Budget Deficit by $2.7 Billion

December 3, 2009
Great Neck – Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel announced the New York State Assembly passed a deficit reduction measure that will shrink New York State’s budget deficit by $2.7 billion – allowing the state to meet its financial obligations for the current fiscal year while protecting taxpayers from massive cuts in school aid and healthcare as originally proposed by the Governor.

“What New Yorkers needed were results. Faced with the reality that the Senate and Governor were far apart, my Assembly colleagues and I worked for weeks to bridge the gap and bring them together,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel. “Now we need to focus our attention on next year’s budget and the continued cost saving measures we’ll need.”

Following the New York State Assembly’s lead, the State Senate passed the deficit reduction plan (DRP) put forth by the Assembly.

Property taxpayers were protected from mid-year cuts to school aid. In addition, the DRP plan also protects aid to college students by rejecting the Governor’s proposed cuts to the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). The Assembly was also able to mitigate the Governor’s cuts to SUNY and CUNY.

Assemblywoman Schimel said it was important to make sure cuts would not affect programs and facilities that receive matching federal dollars, such as hospitals, nursing homes and home care. The deficit reduction bill successfully preserves $500 million in federal health care reimbursements state taxpayers were entitled to.

“I received hundreds of letters and phone calls from compassionate and concerned constituents worried that the cuts put forth in the Governor’s plan were going to devastate the state’s most vulnerable. The Assembly rejected the proposed cuts to Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a program that helps aged, blind and disabled people, because we could not balance the budget on the backs of New Yorkers who have so much to lose.” said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel.

Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel admitted that “Closing the state’s budget deficit requires some tough choices, but we will continue to tighten our belts and to keep New York on sound fiscal footing.”