State Senator James L. Seward (R-C- I/Milford) commented on Governor Spitzer's proposed $120.6 billion state budget.
"The governor has offered some significant proposals that merit our attention as a starting point for budget discussions.
"I am glad to see him join the state senate in calling for property tax relief. The state senate has already passed a massive property tax relief plan, and I will fight for additional, genuine, property tax relief for the hardworking overburdened taxpayers I represent. I am disappointed that he proposes no tax cuts for small businesses, or any other economic development initiatives, in order to help create jobs and boost our upstate economy.
"I applaud his attention to our school districts. While the details will tell the story of how his education spending plan will affect our schools, I support his call to help 'high needs' districts, which we have across our rural upstate areas.
"The 6 percent hike in state spending and the 8 percent jump in our state debt he proposes are serious concerns -- taxpayers can not support more state debt and the surest way to reduce the need for higher taxes is to restrain spending, especially in Medicaid. We have to make spenders accountable for the wise use of tax dollars, and eliminate waste and fraud.
"We have a lot of work to do between now and when we finalize a third, on-time state budget in three years that meets my goals of tax relief, boosting our upstate economy, and helping our schools and students. "