Winner: Paterson Plan Needs Public Scrutiny

George Winner

January 09, 2009

Albany, N.Y., December 16—State Senator George Winner (R-C-I, Elmira) said today that Governor David Paterson’s 2009-2010 proposed state budget is going to require a long, hard look from the Legislature and local communities.

Earlier today Paterson briefed legislators on a $121.1-billion state budget proposal, a plan that calls for a wide range of spending cuts and tax and fee increases to close what the governor estimates is a $15.4-billion state budget deficit. Paterson calls for a $4.1-billion package of new or increased taxes and fees.

For more details on the Paterson plan, click here.

Following today’s legislative briefing on Paterson’s budget plan, Winner released the following statement:

"Governor Paterson’s proposed plan calls for significant spending cuts, significant cost shifts to local governments, and an astonishing package of taxes and fees. Fiscal reform in New York State is going to be a work in progress and the actions we take now could impact a generation of New Yorkers. Governor Paterson’s plan leaves upstate legislators with a responsibility to look long and hard at whether the governor’s proposed actions hurt instead of help upstate property taxpayers, the upstate economy, and upstate communities in the long run. That’s what we’ll be doing over the important weeks and months ahead."

The next step in the 2009-10 state budget adoption process will be a close examination of the governor’s proposal by the Legislature’s fiscal committees, which will include a series of public hearings in Albany.

Winner said that he will also schedule a series of public meetings locally to give area residents the opportunity to get more detailed information on and share their opinions and suggestions about Paterson’s budget proposal. He said this year’s meetings will be especially important.

"I look forward to hearing directly from this region’s local leaders and concerned citizens. It’s important to determine if the scope of the governor’s plan offers the best way for our communities to move forward," said Winner, whose 53rd District includes all of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties, and part of Tompkins County (the city of Ithaca, and the towns of Enfield, Ithaca, Newfield and Ulysses).