"The Assembly today passed a deficit reduction plan that includes $1.6 billion in cuts and other budget actions. This fiscally responsible measure will enable the state to end its current fiscal year on March 31 with a balanced budget.
"These are serious cuts that include reductions to legislative programs - reductions from the Environmental Protection Fund to health care - that many legislators have fought to establish but in recognizing the urgency of the crisis, have agreed to cut.
"This is the first step in dealing with the worsening economic crisis that has affected both our state and our nation. The next step is to continue our work on next year's 2009-10 state budget and close that deficit, which has now been reduced to $13 billion through today's action.
"A looming budget deficit of this magnitude can only be closed by putting every option on the table, including further budget cuts, new revenue streams and the inclusion of funds from the federal stimulus package.
"In our urgency to protect taxpayers and meet this crisis head-on, we must be thoughtful about the task at hand. We cannot walk away from our historical obligations to provide for the health, safety and education of our citizens. The burden of addressing this crisis cannot fall only on the backs of New York's working families - all New Yorkers must share the sacrifices."
Click here to view the 2008-09 Deficit Reduction Plan