New York, NY - Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) today praised Governor Paterson's decision to rein in state spending in light of the ballooning $6.4 billion state deficit and rapidly worsening economic times.
"The Governor is doing the responsible thing, in light of the state's fiscal outlook," Senator Serrano said. "Politically, this is not an easy move to make in an election year, but the Governor's choice speaks to his integrity and willingness to do what is difficult."
The Governor announced that he would seek to cut state spending by $1.23 billion He has ordered state agencies to reduce spending by $630 million through a 7% reduction in spending and a hiring freeze. Additionally, he has called the legislature back to Albany on August 19th for an emergency economic session to discuss cutting an additional $600 million from the budget.
However, while the Senator praised the Governor for his bold action, he cautioned that the legislature must ensure that additional budget cuts do not come disproportionately at the expense of seniors, working families and children.
"While it essential that we reduce overall spending, the new budget must take into account the essential services that we provide to working families," said the Senator. "As the economy gets worse and all that stands between many families and poverty is a precarious job, we must strengthen the safety net for those who may find themselves unemployed."
The Senator also mentioned the need for the government to reaffirm its commitment to providing quality affordable housing for New Yorkers. Giving families a stable base on which to anchor their lives will help them weather this economic storm, said the Senator.
"I look forward to working with Governor Paterson and my colleagues in the State Legislature to address these serious issues and ensure that new budget extends a hand to those who need our help the most."