Statement by Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos
To put this deficit reduction plan in the right perspective you have
to look at why New York has a $3.2 billion deficit – because the Democrats
in the Senate and Assembly, with Governor Paterson, put together a budget
that increased spending by more than $12 billion.
They spent every dime of federal stimulus money when everyone knew
the economy was in trouble; then they raised taxes and fees and spent even
The taxpayers want spending cut and we are doing that today.
However, there was a better plan that cut spending even more than this
bill. It was the plan Senate Republicans proposed over six weeks ago. Our
spending cuts matched the Governor’s dollar-for-dollar, and went even
further by including $2 billion in real cuts, with more than $1.6 billion
in recurring savings.
We proposed cutting Medicaid spending, freezing purchases of
recreational lands, and cutting $350 million in legislative additions to
the budget. Unfortunately the Governor, the Speaker and other Democrats
did not even want to consider them.
Senate Republicans were the first to announce our opposition to tax
and fee hikes and mid-year school aid cuts that would hurt schools and
property taxpayers. The final bill included neither tax hikes nor school
The bill that passed today is only a start, we face a much bigger
deficit next year and we should pass a spending cap to address it now.
We heard the anger and frustration of the taxpayers – they want us to
cut spending, they want us to reduce taxes, and we have to bring a new
fiscal reality to Albany because the taxpayers have simply had enough.