In January, taxpayers were told that their state government was going to tighten its belt like our families, farms, and small businesses have to do everyday. Sadly, despite their rhetoric, Albany leaders once again went back on their promises and proposed a nearly complete state budget that is 3 months late and counting, increases overall spending by $3 billion, and worst of all, uses $1.45 billion in tax increases and more state borrowing to close the $9.2 billion budget deficit.
The “three-men-in-a-room” budget process, where only the Governor, Assembly Speaker, and Senate Majority Conference Leader – all from New York City – make budget decisions, must end. This year, the process not only left the rank-and-file members, and their constituents, in the dark during the state’s fiscal crisis, but it also caused our schools, local governments, contractors, small businesses and, more important, the taxpayers to suffer unfairly, while their New York City special interest groups were saved from difficult budget cuts.
I voted against the 2010-2011 State Budget and will continue to make reforming the budget process and ending Albany’s tax-and-spend policies that caused the $9.2 billion budget gap my top priority.
Stop Medicaid fraud: $5 billion
Reduce bloated state agency budgets: $1.5 billion
Consolidate state agencies that have similar responsibilities: $960 million
Eliminate public employee givebacks: $250 million
Eliminate member item requests, known as pork barrel spending: $150 - $180 million
Pension reform for legislators and political aides: $50 million
Temporarily halt the state from purchasing private land: $17.6 million
Discontinue new state vehicle purchases: $14.3 million
END THE ‘THREE-MEN-IN-A-ROOM’ BUDGET PROCESS THAT PUTS NEW YORK STATE DEEPER INTO DEBT EVERY YEAR!
Uphold the 2007 budget reforms that required the budget process be open and transparent with joint legislative conference committee meetings.
Prohibit any legislative recess until the state budget is finished.
Require that the previous year’s budget is put in place no later than 72 hours after the start of a new fiscal year to ensure that we have an on-time budget.
Prohibit any consideration of non-budget bills after the April 1st deadline if the state budget has not been passed.
Reform the state’s spending policies by limiting year-to-year fund increases to no more than the rate of inflation.