STATEMENT BY SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER DEAN SKELOS

 

           To put this deficit reduction plan in the right perspective you have
    to look at why New York has a $3.2 billion deficit – because the Democrats
    in the Senate and Assembly, with Governor Paterson, put together a budget
    that increased spending by more than $12 billion.

           They spent every dime of federal stimulus money when everyone knew
    the economy was in trouble; then they raised taxes and fees and spent even
    more.

           The taxpayers want spending cut and we are doing that today.
    However, there was a better plan that cut spending even more than this
    bill.  It was the plan Senate Republicans proposed over six weeks ago.  Our
    spending cuts matched the Governor’s dollar-for-dollar, and went even
    further by including $2 billion in real cuts, with more than $1.6 billion
    in recurring savings.

           We proposed cutting Medicaid spending, freezing purchases of
    recreational lands, and cutting $350 million in legislative additions to
    the budget.  Unfortunately the Governor, the Speaker and other Democrats
    did not even want to consider them.

           Senate Republicans were the first to announce our opposition to tax
    and fee hikes and mid-year school aid cuts that would hurt schools and
    property taxpayers.  The final bill included neither tax hikes nor school
    aid cuts.

           The bill that passed today is only a start, we face a much bigger
    deficit next year and we should pass a spending cap to address it now.

           We heard the anger and frustration of the taxpayers – they want us to
    cut spending, they want us to reduce taxes, and we have to bring a new
    fiscal reality to Albany because the taxpayers have simply had enough.

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