Today, we witnessed the swearing in of David Paterson as our State’s 55th Governor. As noted in Governor Paterson’s comments, the first order of business is to pass a balanced budget. I embrace the opportunity to work with Governor Paterson, who as a former Senator, exhibited a fine intellect, a quick wit and respect for those of differing opinion.
The Governor and the Legislature are faced with a tremendous challenge -- the need to adopt a State Budget in the next few weeks while addressing a declining economy. I am encouraged by our new Governor’s commitment to working with the State Legislature and hope that in the spirit of building consensus, we will have a partner who is willing to reduce state spending, provide more flexibility for school and local governments, and move our state forward to economic recovery.