Today Governor Paterson released his Deficit Reduction Plan to address the State’s burgeoning deficit. I am prepared to work with the Governor and deal with this issue head on. We are faced with an unprecedented fiscal challenge and how we address it will affect the State’s economic future.
I agree with the Governor’s approach to reduce spending rather than increase taxes. While everything should be on the table with regard to the 2009-2010 budget that the Governor will give us next month, I fear that the Governor’s mid-year cuts to schools will wreak havoc on local school districts. Significant reductions as proposed in Governor Paterson’s budget plan, which disproportionately impact schools in the 41st Senate District, could severely compromise current education programs and services. While I firmly believe spending needs to be reined in at every level, it is critical that our efforts do not jeopardize the gains we have made in improving academic performance. We can and must do better.