After listening to today’s address by Governor Paterson to a joint session of the Legislature, I would like to express that I share his concerns regarding the state’s financial straits. It’s clear that something has to be done to restore the state’s financial health, and that includes cutting spending both short- and long-term.
The Assembly Minority Conference has outlined several significant bipartisan solutions, including eliminating earmarks and consolidating duplicative government agencies and services that would address the fiscal shortfall without cutting critical aid for education and health care. While I understand that we have to make tough decisions, a proposal to cut spending for education and health care without reducing unfunded mandates would, in all likelihood, cause massive budget shortfalls for local governments – shifting the burden onto local homeowners through higher property taxes.
If nothing else, today’s meeting should have highlighted the need for long-term budget and property tax reform.