(DEPEW, NY) Senator Dale M. Volker (R-I-C, Depew) today voted NO on the Democratic Budget that incorporated draconian cuts to our hospitals and nursing homes located in western New York. These forced cuts, crafted by the Democrats of the State Senate and State Assembly, will decimate nursing homes that serve our elderly and disabled residents and disproportionally impact upon the citizens of Western New York who utilize hospital and nursing home services. Specifically, under the Democratic leadership, who drafted this draconian budget plan, western New York hospitals and nursing homes will face millions of dollars in cuts, force layoffs, and have an immediate and long-term negative impact in the quality of health care and elder care services that our citizens need and deserve. “This State Budget that was rammed down the throats of western New York taxpayers will be simply devastating to our county nursing homes and hospitals is unconscionable,” said Senator Dale M. Volker. “It’s odd that New York City nursing homes and hospitals were financially protected in this budget, but those facilities outside New York City will face draconian levels of cuts that will create immediate harm to western New Yorkers who rely on this critical services. This is simply wrong.” Western New York has already seen some of our nursing homes forced to close and hospitals reduce services. These state budget reductions to western New York hospitals and nursing homes may well force further closures, significant staff reductions and additional curtailment of services. Senator Volker said, “Governor Paterson has often said that we are “One State with one future. ” We may be “One State” but upstate nursing homes and hospitals, and in particular, western New York taxpayers are being asked to balance a disproportionate share of this budget to the great benefit to New York City health care facilities. It is unfair and the reason why I voted NO on this budget, which walks away from financial commitments made by the State of New York in favor of a quick budgetary fix that harms upstate taxpayers, the elderly, the disabled, and the sick who rely on the services of hospitals and nursing located in our region.” As stated in Governor Paterson’s State of the State message, “we must balance the budget, we must strengthen our health care system and we must create jobs.” Senator Volker certainly agrees with these goals. Given the state of the economy and the serious deficit New York faces, the Senate Republicans understand the need to make tough choices and that all must share in the sacrifices needed to balance our state’s budget. However the burden of balancing our budget ought not fall disproportionately on one region or one sector of this great state. That is exactly what is taking place in the adopted New York State Budget, and why I voted NO.