Senator James L. Seward today issued the following statement:
"Gov. Paterson set the right tone in his message -- one of conciliation and bipartisanship, and the need to focus on governing the state without games and power plays. He has a relationship with the state legislature as former minority leader and a senator. He knows how to work together.
"We have a lot of work to do -- we have to finalize a state budget in the next few weeks that limits new spending, helps our economy and provides property tax relief. My goal is to defeat new taxes, particularly the proposed gas tax increase and higher insurance fees -- taxes on upstate residents who need our cars to get to work, school, doctors' appointments and church.
"The budget must address the real issues that families discuss around the kitchen table, and soaring fuel prices and property taxes top the list.
"Gov. Paterson talked about problems faced by New York families in these tough economic times. I look forward to working with him to meet those challenges."