Statement from Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R,C,I,- Schoharie) on the State’s fiscal crisis

August 1, 2008
“Earlier this week, Gov. Paterson delivered a wake up call to New Yorkers with his forecast for our state’s financial future. His message, one I strongly agree with, was that the state spends, taxes and borrows too much, and that it has finally caught up with us.

Like any family feeling the financial squeeze, the state needs to rein in spending and work to develop a budget that is sustainable - a budget that promotes private sector investment and allows our farms, families and small businesses to flourish. During the past decade, state spending increased by $52 billion, or 71%. If state spending had been tied to the rate of inflation, we would have saved roughly $30 billion over that same time period. That would be $30 billion left in the hands of our hardworking taxpayers.

This was not the first time our new Governor had cautioned the state about its finances. Even as he took office a few short months ago, Gov. Paterson spoke about the economic storm facing the state and called for all of us to work together to weather this crisis. Many of us in the legislature took that call to heart, and within a few weeks after the budget adoption, we met with the Governor to discuss his plans for bringing New York’s budget deficit under control.

With leadership from Gov. Paterson and the Legislature, we must now work to put our state back in fiscal balance. Spending and taxes must be cut, a property tax cap should be implemented, and farms and small businesses must be supported. By enacting measures such as these, state revenues will increase and boost our struggling economy. Working together, we can put New York back on track.”