Deficit Plan Is Bad Deal For Upstate New York

James L. Seward

February 03, 2009

“The Democrats’ deficit reduction plan is a bad deal for upstate families, businesses, and New York as a whole.

“The plan, developed in secrecy, violates promises by Governor Paterson and Democrats of greater openness and transparency. The plan means higher health insurance costs for businesses, families and individuals; the diversion of millions of dollars that could be used for cheaper energy for businesses, particularly upstate, and steals millions of dollars from SUNY schools.

“It’s no surprise that upstate is the biggest victim under this deficit reduction plan since it was developed behind closed doors by three New York City Democrats.”

Harmful items in the Democrats’ deficit reduction plan include:

*$240 million increase in the “covered lives” assessment on health insurance premiums, which is passed on to consumers;

*$500 million swept from economic development programs run by the New York Power Authority (NYPA);

*Stealing 90 percent of the SUNY tuition hike earmarked for local campuses for the state’s general fund.

“Spending cuts are necessary to get through these tough times,” Seward continued. “We need to look at Medicaid fraud, consolidation of state authorities and agencies, and commonsense budget reductions that allow us to balance the state’s spending plan. Job killing cuts like the ones advanced by the Governor Paterson and Democrats today are not the answer.

“This bad deal offered by the governor also drops the ball on job creation, one of the vital items needed to help upstate. The only thing this plan will do is drive business and families from New York, leaving those that remain to deal with its disastrous impact,” Seward concluded.