I said last week, after the extraordinary session that was called by the Governor, that Senate Republicans were prepared to vote in favor of several bills but were never given the opportunity to do so.
We support the property tax cap bill, the Power for Jobs extension, the elimination of the State sales tax on low-sulfur heating fuel and the Governor’s proposed budget contingency plan dealing with federal FMAP assistance. Those bills are before us again today and we should take them up without further delay.
While the federal FMAP bill that was introduced early this morning differs with legislation that the Governor sent us last week, I am confident that we can resolve any problems so we can pass a bill today. In fact, my staff has been negotiating changes with the Governor’s staff this morning.
We will not vote for any increases in taxes or fees, and any bill that includes those will not receive any Republican support. However, other measures can be acted on and we should do so. The failure by the Senate Majority Leader to attend today’s session, just like Temporary President Malcolm Smith’s decision to skip last week’s session, should not prevent us from doing our jobs and the people’s work.