Statement By Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith Re: Governor Paterson's State Of The State Address

Malcolm A. Smith

January 08, 2009

"Today, Governor Paterson gave his first State of the State address on a historic day for New York, a day during which the Senate was convened with its first Democratic majority in 43 years. But it was a bittersweet moment for us all – while we note the milestones that have been achieved, we are mindful of the dire fiscal times we're facing, the likes of which we have not seen since the Great Depression.

Across this great state, New York families are hurting. Unemployment and poverty are rising and healthcare coverage is disappearing. And, we're grappling with the biggest budget deficit in decades. Now more than ever before, we need to come together to get our state back on track and help ease the burden on hardworking men and women.

In his address, Governor Paterson laid out an ambitious and forward-looking agenda for the year ahead. From balancing the budget, strengthening our healthcare system to improving schools and creating jobs – the Governor has set the right priorities for this legislative session.

We've been energized by the Governor's ambitious initiatives in infrastructure and clean energy; overhauling our economic development initiatives; reforming our Empire Zones; and his specific mention of Rockefeller Drug Law Reform.

We are eager to get to work with the Governor and our legislative colleagues to achieve these goals and get New York moving again."