2008-09 Senate Budget Highlights

Andrew J Lanza

New State budget meets the needs of Staten Islanders

The 2008-09 State budget presented us with many challenges. The challenges of our long term economic health, the challenges of educating our children, and the challenges of ensuring access to health care. These are challenges that the residents of Staten Island face every day.

The budget we enacted addresses those challenges in a way that achieves a balance between spending and taxes. It makes important investments in education, health care and job creation, yet still spends hundreds of millions of dollars less than the one presented to us in January.

For Senate Republicans, protecting the hardworking taxpayer was our number one priority, and we succeeded. We said no to a massive increase in personal income taxes. We said no to an increase in car registration fees. We said no to higher gasoline taxes. We said no to new health insurance taxes. And we said yes to across the board spending cuts in State government.

As a result of the efforts of Senate Republicans the 2008-09 State budget:

  • Spends hundreds of millions of dollars less than the Executive Budget;
  • Makes significant across the board spending cuts in the State bureaucracy;
  • Does not increase any broad based taxes;
  • Rejects proposals to increase taxes on cars, gasoline and health insurance;
  • Invests a record $1.8 billion in school aid;
  • Restores proposed cuts to higher education;
  • Restores $245 million for health care including funding for hospitals, nursing homes and home care;
  • Invests more than $1 billion in job creation capital projects across the State;
  • Rejects plans that would have shifted more mandated costs onto local property taxpayers; and
  • Increases State aid for local governments and for local road and bridge improvements

We approached this budget with one clearly defined principle in mind. We wanted real, measurable results from the programs we fund to make sure that taxpayers get their money’s worth. We wanted commonsense solutions to our common challenges. The budget achieves these goals and meets the needs of the people of this State.