“While Governor Paterson hit on some key points today, his overall message still falls short of what is needed in New York State. Job creation and tax relief must be the headlines of this redemption story.
“New York is experiencing some tough times, but we can bounce back. We need to turn the governor’s rhetoric into reality, and we won’t be able to do that through billions of dollars in new taxes and fees, as he has proposed. We need a realistic economic development plan, that creates new high tech jobs, and provides incentives to keep our young people right here.
“I do appreciate the governor embracing my long standing idea to include unmarried children up to the age of 29 on family health insurance policies. I also applaud his call for clean renewable energy.
“I have fought against tax and fee increases in the past and will continue to stand strong in opposition to increasing taxes or making cuts that would force increases in local property taxes.
“We can close the budget gap and help New Yorkers by strengthening our economy and helping businesses grow and create jobs that generate more revenue for state and local governments. There will be some sacrifices though, and we need to look at all areas of government to improve efficiencies.
“We have some heavy lifting to do, but I believe New York is ready for the challenge. A commonsense budget that holds the line on spending is the first step. I am ready to usher in a new era of bipartisanship and reform to make sure that spending plan is completed on time, and is a plan that all New Yorkers can live with and will help move our state forward to a better and brighter tomorrow.”