Seward: Budget Work Looms

James L. Seward

January 19, 2010

ALBANY, 01/19/10 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I- Oneonta) today commented on Gov. Paterson’s 2010-2011 budget proposal:
“The governor hit on many of the right talking points, but the real question is whether he will follow through in the finished product.  If past results are any indication, the answer is no.

“As expected, the governor’s budget proposal includes spending reductions in some areas.  Unfortunately, the governor once again has increased overall spending- his budget proposal is $4 billion higher than last year- and is calling on taxpayers to foot the bill with $1 billion in new taxes.

“The governor’s proposal to merge certain state agencies and provide some mandate relief has merit, and I am pleased he is backing a state spending cap, a measure I have supported and voted for in the past.  But the plan has precious little tax relief or economic development, and once again leaves out New York’s number one industry – agriculture. 

“The proposed cuts to our education system are also extremely deep and we need to mitigate the burden our local educators and taxpayers are being asked to absorb.
“Upstate families are struggling to make their mortgage payments; senior citizens living on a fixed income have to dip into their savings to pay for food and heat and our small businesses are laying off employees and in many cases, closing their doors.  These problems will only intensify if the governor’s budget is enacted.

“The next step is to convene conference committees and set to work on amending this plan.  Let me be clear: we cannot have a repeat of last year, when conference committees were forgotten and the governor went behind closed doors with his fellow New York City Democrats to devise the budget in secrecy.

“Albany needs to take a firm stance against new taxes and out of control spending and send a clear message that New York is ready to enact real reforms that will improve our state’s economy, put people back to work and lead the nation toward recovery.”