Michael F. Nozzolio

July 06, 2010

When will the insanity end?

Never before has State government in Albany been run this badly. Management by hysteria, constant stall tactics, missed deadlines and an overall failure to address even the most elementary budget issues. Budget extender after budget extender. Huge spending increases for welfare services. Unfunded mandates. Cost shifts to local governments that will unquestionably require property tax increases.

Never before has Albany government been so mismanaged and misguided!

Never before have all three branches of State government been totally controlled at the same time by New York City Democrats - the Governor, the Speaker of the Assembly and the Senate Majority Leader - and never before have we witnessed such a ridiculous and disastrous budget process!  A budget process being led by legislators who refuse to follow the budget reform laws that were enacted just three years ago to prevent this type of behavior from taking place!

This is not the way to run our government. This cannot continue. For eleven weeks we heard nothing but empty rhetoric from the Democrat leadership that budget negotiations were on-going.  In reality, they have been shirking their responsibilities and attempting to hide from making the necessary tough decisions that must be made.  We must cut spending!  For the last nine weeks, I have voted against the weekly budget extenders because I refuse to play games with the lives of my constituents and future of our State!   The budget extenders do nothing to address the fiscal crisis facing our New York -- they have simply allowed this terrible, inefficient, costly, and secretive process to continue. I will continue to fight against this affront to our taxpayers!

This week was the absolute worst! These same New York City legislators, who now control our State, are facing embarrassment by their own ineptitude and lack of political will to enact a budget in an open and public process!

This week they did all they could do to manufacture the threat of a total government shutdown as political cover to hide the welfare spending increases, unfunded mandates, costly borrowing and tax hikes that will result from this piecemeal, week-to-week extender process that is unfair to the taxpayers and  prevents an open and transparent budget process from taking place.

As a member of the New York State Senate, my efforts have always been motivated by the needs of my District and the constituents I serve.   I have worked effectively with members of the Legislature on both sides of the aisle - Democrat and Republican.  There has always been a mutual respect and willingness to work together for the betterment of our State.  Sadly, that trust and willingness to work together is being eroded by the demands and arrogance of a group of New York City Democrats who have no interest in working together.  Their motivation is based on the needs of New York City and the power that they hold over the State.

All the talk we hear about new reforms, new laws, and new ways to govern our State - is just that - it's just talk.  There are already laws on the books that require an open and transparent budget process - a process that allows for public input and scrutiny.  A process that those in control refuse to follow!

Each week my Republican colleagues and I fight the demands of  these New York City legislators who continue to hold our State government hostage while they broker for more power, higher taxes, increased spending and more funding for social programs like welfare and Medicaid.  Their negative and oppressive tax and spend policies threaten the entire State’s economy, but especially Upstate New York.

We must keep up the fight. We cannot stop now. We must do whatever it takes to  wrest control of our State government away from New York City and return common sense values to our State government.  The stakes are simply too high to allow this madness to continue.  I believe we can focus the drive and determination of Upstate taxpayers to demand change.  We can restore balance in our New York State government and take control back from the New York City Democrats who are now in total  control the budget process. 

I am fully committed to that objective and welcome your thoughts, suggestions and ideas on how to help us achieve our goal.