New Era In Budget Negotiations Deserves Support

Budget presented on time, takes step toward a financially solvent New York

With the ongoing progress being made toward an on-time state budget in Albany, Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) is applauding what may be a new era in New York State’s budget process. A responsible budget framework was reached over the weekend that re-prioritized spending while making overall spending cuts. The proposed budget was introduced to the Legislature and is being voted on before the April 1st deadline. Assemblyman Fitzpatrick is applauding the bipartisanship of this year’s process and product while keeping focus on the legislative session ahead.

“We have seen budget stalemates for far too long, but now we may be witnessing the arrival of a new era of responsible fiscal leadership,” said Fitzpatrick. “Lawmakers on both sides were able to re-prioritize spending to support school aid, which is necessary for Long Island students, while also delivering a $3 billion reduction in overall state spending, the first time total spending has dropped in New York State in 15 years. This budget isn’t perfect – but it is the first step toward a stronger New York.”

With last year’s state budget passing more than 120 days late, lawmakers and the governor worked together to pass an on-time budget that prevented a statewide shutdown and the disruption of essential state services. This budget included a 2% spending cut and significant restoration of education aid which had been threatened with a $1.5 billion statewide cut.

Assemblyman Fitzpatrick noted that the lack of more specific mandate relief, a property-tax cap, and pension reform as part of this year’s budget have not deterred him from continuing to push for these measures through the remainder of the 2011 legislative session.

Said Fitzpatrick, “It is imperative to continue to look for mandate relief and a tax cap to help struggling Long Island families and small businesses.”