Ranzenhofer Welcomes Democrats Conversion "But Is It Too Little, Too Late?"


Albany, NY- Over the last several days Deputy Democrat Leader Jeff Klein along with Democrat Senators Craig Johnson and Brian Foley have announced that they are going to move forward a bill to restore STAR rebate checks.  It seems they are taking a backwards approach to government namely-“they voted against it, before voting for it.” Their conversion is certainly welcome, but also likely to be too little, too late.


During the months of February and March and during the budget debate that followed on April 3rd Senator Ranzenhofer was the most vocal and passionate advocate for the restoration of STAR rebate checks in the State Senate. He stood up for his constituents and for his fellow Western New Yorkers while area Democrat Senators voted in lockstep with their New York City leadership to eliminate property tax relief. “During the budget debate I pleaded with my democrat colleagues to stand with me to protect the taxpayer. I pointed out that during an economic crisis we could not afford to put any additional property tax burden on struggling families. I put forward an amendment to restore STAR checks only to see every Democrat, these three included, vote no. I am happy that Senator Klein has heard the outcry from the people of this state and now adopted my position on this issue.  I hope that he can persuade his friends the Governor and Speaker Silver to join with me in also supporting taxpayers,” said Ranzenhofer.


With Speaker Silver saying that the Assembly will not pass this plan and the governor saying that there is no money to pay for the cost it is unlikely that the Klein scheme will ever become law. “While Senators Klein, Johnson and Foley refused to protect property taxpayers during the budget debate, when they could have made a decisive difference, I welcome them to this battle now. I call on them to offer the restoration of STAR rebate checks as a stand-alone measure, and allow a simple up or down vote in the Senate and demand the same of the State Assembly,” said Ranzenhofer. 


Finally, Senator Ranzenhofer called on Senators Klein, Foley and Johnson to be pragmatic when it comes to cutting spending and paying for programs.  “I have proposed and continue to support a 15% across the board spending cut plan, to be implemented working with agency and department heads to improve efficiency and streamline government.”  Senator Ranzenhofer’s plan stands in stark contrast to the unrealistic Klein plan which counts heavily on collecting $500 million from cigarette sales on Indian Reservations which have never been collected.  “If we are going to solve problems, we have to be realistic,” Senator Ranzenhofer said “We can’t use revenue that may or may not be collected in the future to pay our bills today, that is the height of fiscal irresponsibility,” concluded Ranzenhofer.