After months of knowing that this year’s revenues would force budget cuts, and after weeks of returning to Albany with no agreement on the table, I was pleased that both houses were able to come together to agree on some of the necessary cuts. However, by taking next year’s federal education funds, cutting aid to municipalities (including to the City of Batavia) and reducing access to health care in rural communities, like those in Western New York, this plan is full of problems.
Yes, tough choices need to be made, but once again the downstate leaders have attempted to balance their inflated spending on the backs of Western New Yorkers. Just as I voted against the excessive 2009-10 State Budget, I also voted against this “reduction” plan that does nothing but further shift the burden of Albany’s irresponsible spending onto the backs of hardworking Western New Yorkers.
Instead of adopting the many proposals to reduce the deficit that I proposed along with our Conference, downstate leaders decided to turn their backs on implementing real solutions. Under the cover of darkness, with smoke and mirrors, after four weeks at a cost of $322,000, downstate leaders adopted the old adage of “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.” Only they robbed next year’s federal money from Obama to pay Shelley, Dave and John.
On top of these hurtful cuts, this plan also includes cuts to community colleges and Roswell Park as well as cutting $10 million from Timothy’s Law, causing more increased costs again for small businesses. Additionally, this plan cuts fees for out-of-state CPAs but does nothing for those instate. They did the same thing to insurance small businesses last year, sending a consistent message that Albany does not care about New York State small business and further weakening our state’s economy.
This plan cuts too little and doesn’t address the nearly $4 billion deficit we have this year. What’s worse is cutting $391 million from education and replacing that with next year’s federal stimulus, further exasperating the problem. Coupled with these other dangerous cuts this plan is a deficit deferral, not a reduction, and it sets up our state for a deeper deficit next year, which is already estimated to amount to $10 billion.