Galef, Paulin, Latimer Renew Call for No Member Items in 2010-11 New York State Budget

March 2, 2010

Assembly Members Sandy Galef, Amy Paulin, and George Latimer are renewing their call for no member item spending in the 2010-2011 New York State Budget. By curtailing expenditures for member items, the state can save from $140 to $200 million in this year’s budget. In December 2009 the three members of the Assembly introduced legislation (A. 9427) calling for no member item spending in this fiscal year’s budget and encouraged their colleagues to support this new budgetary policy. Member items include state funding allocated by individual Assembly and Senate members to community projects, civic projects, public health initiatives, or other public use specifically in the recipient members’ districts.

“With an over $8 billion state budget deficit this year and proposed major cuts to state agencies and to those that provide education and health care to New York residents, there is absolutely no way that we can afford to have discretionary spending in the budget,” stated Galef. “This is the year that we must do all we can to keep our state taxes lower and prohibiting the distribution of member items is an important step to address the burden of taxes.”

"By rejecting member items, we will save the state money, and that's the bottom line. Although I recognize that member item funding has been meaningful in the past, we must all cut back in every way we can during this unprecedented fiscal crisis," commented Paulin.

“These are tough times, and they require tough decisions. We need to show we understand that people and businesses are tightening their belts and that we’re prepared to do the same,” stated Latimer.

The Deficit Reduction Plan for the 2009-10 State Budget was passed in November, and included a 12.5% cut in member items.