Senate Dems Continue to Tax and Spend in Budget Legislation

Andrew J. Lanza

June 24, 2010

Public Protection Bill, Negotiated in Secret,
Includes $41 Million in New Taxes and Fees

            Senator Lanza voted against the Democrat budget legislation that increases taxes by almost $41 million, steals $10 million from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund, and closes correctional facilities. At the same time, the legislation includes almost $1 million in funds to provide conjugal visits for inmates in prison facilities throughout the State.

“While Staten Islanders are trying to make ends meet, the Democrats are sweeping funds intended for the environment, raising taxes and fees, closing prisons, and to top it all off, spending almost one million dollars to make sure convicted criminals can get conjugal visits in jail,” said Senator Andrew Lanza. “This bill shows how clearly misplaced the Democrats’ priorities have been throughout this entire budget process.”

            "It is unconscionable that at the same time Governor Paterson and the Democrat majority in the State Senate support closing prisons in New York as a way to save money that they would have the audacity to force this ridiculous and exorbitant expenditure on the taxpayers of New York State,” said Senator Lanza. “Talk about adding insult to injury.  Imagine being the family member of one of the people who have been victimized by these criminals! These are inmates who have committed violent crimes - armed robbery, rape and murder.  Imagine your anger at finding out that almost $1 million of your tax dollars are being spent to buy two mobile homes that cost nearly ten times as much as one that the average homeowner could purchase. All this while they continue to pass laws which are soft on criminals."

             “Clearly, Democrats are setting up a scenario that repeats the same mistakes from last year and creates a whole slew of new ones.  Taxpayers already are being taxed to death, and the last thing they need is more of a burden.  At a time when critical care and health services are being cut, teachers are being laid off, and so many New Yorkers are struggling to even pay their bills, it is unconscionable that the Democrats would authorize such a ridiculous expenditure of taxpayer dollars to reward felons with conjugal visits. Instead we should be giving families a break by cutting taxes and out of control spending,” Senator Lanza said.

            “Senate Republicans have said repeatedly that we will not support any increased taxes and fees or irresponsible spending, and this bill has both,” Senator Lanza said. “This is the latest piece in a very bad budget process that will result in even more taxes and spending that Staten Islanders simply cannot afford.”

            Every Senate Republican voted against this legislation.