Earlier tonight, Governor Paterson met with my colleagues and me in the Assembly Minority Conference to discuss the 2010-11 State Budget. I was encouraged that he was willing to bring rank-and-file legislators into the discussion normally reserved only for “three men in a room.” I also was glad that the governor was not in agreement with Lt. Governor Ravitch’s plan to increase state borrowing by $2 billion a year for the next three years. Other encouraging remarks included the governor’s confirmation that he will reconsider state park closures and that he is open to finding new ways to make more significant spending cuts.
It is my hope that the governor will keep his promise and oppose any increased state borrowing as the budget is finalized. The deadline is only a couple of weeks away and budgetary gimmicks and increasing the state debt load must be avoided at all costs. We should be working through the weekends until an agreement is made on how to properly guide New York State out of this fiscal crisis.