Budget Work Cannot Wait
ALBANY, 03/03/10 – State senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today called for a full court press on development of the 2010-2011 budget.
“The budget deadline is less than a month away and to date, very little has been accomplished concerning the 2010-2011 state budget. We need to move forward now with a complete review of the governor’s proposal and set to work amending the plan for final approval. Today’s five-way leaders meetings is a start, but we need to ramp up the work load.
“The state budget serves as the foundation for much of the work we do in Albany and impacts so many institutions across the state. Without an on-time state budget, schools cannot move forward with their own spending plans, access to hospitals and nursing homes could be in jeopardy and vital local government services may be put on hold. No one wants to deal with these consequences.
“We also need to return to an open, bi-partisan review of the budget. The conference committee approach, which I helped establish in law through the budget reform act, was ditched last year resulting in one of the most secretive budget processes in our state’s history. The result was a record $132 billion spending plan that hammered our families and small businesses with new taxes and fees. We cannot afford a repeat performance.
“Even with the uncertainty swirling around the governor’s office, there is no need to wait any longer to move forward with the budget. Our state cannot afford a protracted budget stalemate because of one individual’s political and potential legal woes.
“I stand ready to dig in and work for a plan that will reduce state spending, keep taxes in check and provide our businesses with an effective job growth plan that will help grow our economy. The process needs to start now.”