ALBANY, 12/02/09 – Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on the deficit reduction plan:
“After a month of negotiating we finally have a deficit reduction plan (DRP) in place that starts to addresses our state’s fiscal situation without making mid-year school aid cuts, further taxing our homeowners and small businesses or devastating our local hospitals and nursing homes.
“This plan moves us toward the main objective of shrinking the budget gap and it accomplishes my goal of not transferring the deficit onto the backs of property taxpayers. Property tax relief must continue to be a priority for Albany.
“The unfortunate reality is that this is just a start. In short order, work will begin on the 2010-11 state budget and we certainly must learn from this year’s mistakes. The current budget, which I opposed, increased spending by $13 billion and hiked taxes and fees by $8.5 billion. This outrageous budget created the deficit.
“Moving forward, more spending cuts are needed. We need to consolidate state agencies, crack down on Medicaid fraud, ban unfunded mandates and rollback onerous state taxes that handcuff our economic development. We also need a state spending cap to force state government to live within its means. Families and businesses don’t have an open check book; government shouldn’t either.”