Statement From Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson

 

“The Senate is committed to generating lasting economic growth with a fiscally prudent deficit reduction plan, and have been in discussions with the Executive for weeks about how best to close the state’s projected budget gap. Both houses of the Legislature had their first opportunity today to hear the Governor’s recommendations. While time may have been lost waiting for these ideas to emerge, our Finance Committee has now begun the task of reviewing the fiscal consequences of each of these proposals.
 
Once our review is complete, the Senate Finance Committee will commence bipartisan regional hearings to fully disclose to the public the scope of the budget deficit and the cost saving choices before the state.   These hearings will begin Monday, October 26th in New York City and be followed by hearings in Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and Buffalo. They will complement those held by the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, regionally, to ensure that the public has the opportunity to be heard before we make any final decisions or take any vote on any deficit-closing proposal.”
 
**LETTER TO GOVERNOR PATERSON
FROM SENATOR SAMPSON ATTACHED**
 
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Additional Senate news available at http://nysenate.gov
New York State Senate | MajorityConference.News@senate.state.ny.us | 518-455-2415
 
 

                                                                                                                October 15, 2009


Dear Governor Paterson,

 
Thank you for releasing your proposals to close the gap in the 2009-10 Budget.   The Senate Finance Committee staff has commenced a review of your proposals, and will report back to our Conference in short order.
 
Our Conference remains committed to opposing any increases in taxes or fees, and we are pleased your proposal is in line with our position.   New Yorkers simply cannot afford to continue to pay more in taxes while services are being cut.   We have to get state spending under control, which starts with respecting and mitigating the burden taxpayers already face.
 
Our Conference is also committed to minimizing the impact to our most vulnerable constituents – children in schools, seniors reliant on our social safety net, and those who depend on mental health services.   We believe there are better ways to balance our budget than on the backs of those who need state services the most.
 
Once our review is complete, the Senate Finance Committee will commence bipartisan regional hearings to fully disclose to the public the scope of the budget deficit and the cost saving choices before the state.   These hearings will begin Monday, October 26th in New York City and be followed by hearings in Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and Buffalo. They will complement those held by the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, regionally, to ensure that the public has the opportunity to be heard before we make any final decisions or take any vote on any deficit-closing proposal.
 
As you know, the Senate Majority worked closely with you and the Assembly earlier this year to close a $1.7 billion deficit. Together, we also passed a state budget while grappling with the largest deficit in state history.   As challenging as the current fiscal circumstances may be, our Conference will remain actively engaged in identifying gap-closing measures. I am fully committed to working with you, Lt. Governor Ravitch, Speaker Silver, Leader Skelos, and Leader Kolb to closing our budget gap and keeping our state’s economy on track.
 
Respectfully,
Senator John L. Sampson
Majority Conference Leader