Earlier this month, Governor Paterson re-emphasized his caution to New Yorkers about weathering the impending financial storm and outlined up to $1 billion in budget cuts for Senate and Assembly action in an effort to bring New York’s budget back into balance. The Legislature met and agreed upon $427 million in cuts to this year’s enacted budget.
Among the reductions, the Legislature agreed to cut some $50 million worth of member items as a good faith gesture. "I am glad that our members were able to help set the tone in the budget process by targeting member items as a cost-saving measure," Assemblyman Lopez stated.
While Assemblyman Lopez voted in favor of the budget package, he stated that more can and should be done to bring fiscal stability to New York State.
"Today was an important first step towards achieving our goal," said Assemblyman Lopez. "In a state that spends, taxes and borrows too much, we must continue to control spending while utilizing funds wisely to promote healthy economic growth."
Assemblyman Lopez noted that the current fiscal situation did not happen overnight and that steady attention will be required to achieve a sustainable budget.
"Like a swimmer tangled in weeds, it is important to avoid making the problem worse," said Assemblyman Lopez. "Instead, we must work through the process thoughtfully and intelligently."
The Assemblyman highlighted a conversation he recently had with a program manager for an after-school child care program concerned with the prospect of losing funds. "Her reaction was clearly driven by concern for the program’s stability and meeting the needs of the many working families she serves," said Assemblyman Lopez. "After working through some scenarios, we both came to the conclusion that there were reasonable alternatives that would allow the program to continue, even in the face of state budget cuts."
"This is the type of conversation we must have in every community if we are to drive consensus. All of us must pull together to bring budget stability and economic growth back to the Empire State," concluded Assemblyman Lopez.