Statement On Budget Extender Vote

James L. Seward

June 20, 2010

ALBANY, 06/21/10 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on the twelfth emergency appropriation bill which he voted against:

“A dozen temporary budget extenders have now been approved in Albany, a feeble substitute for a complete spending plan that was due on April 1st.  The extenders have allowed the governor to hijack the budget process and push through multi-million dollar cost shifts to county governments and local taxpayers, hike welfare spending and unilaterally cut spending where only he sees fit.  Today, as expected, the tax increases started with tobacco users as the first target.

“While you may not be a smoker or strongly oppose higher cigarette taxes, it is only a matter of time before a tax hike is assessed on something you do care about.   Last year’s final budget included $8.5 billion in new taxes and fees, hitting every segment of the population, and there is every reason to believe more tax increases are on the way this year.

“Promises made by Albany leaders to convene public conference committees to negotiate a true spending plan have been completely forgotten.  A bad process of three men in a room has disintegrated to that of just one man, an unelected governor, exerting his will on millions of New Yorkers.

“Commonsense spending cuts and consolidation of government agencies are needed to bring our state’s budget in line.  Property tax relief and incentives to assist upstate businesses are also needed to spur on our economy.  These initiatives should be debated in an open, public forum, as outlined in the 2007 budget reform law, so rank and file lawmakers can be part of the process.  Until such action is taken I will continue to vote against the budget extenders the governor is cobbling together that fail to deliver for all of New York.”