Statement by Senator John J. Bonacic on Governor Paterson's Proposed State Budget

John J. Bonacic

January 19, 2010

“Four simple steps would go a long way to making life affordable again for New Yorkers:  1.  A reduction in government spending; 2. property tax reform; 3.  a requirement that the Legislature needs a supermajority of 2/3 to raise any tax or fee; and, 4.  initiative and referendum, to allow voters to force the consideration of the issues people care the most about.  Those actions would create a true taxpayers bill of rights.  It would empower voters and limit the ability of the New York City based political leaders, who presently control the entire agenda.”  

“Governor Paterson appears to be making, hard and unpopular choices.  It is no secret that last year’s budget, negotiated in complete secrecy by the New York City Democrats who are running State government, was a disaster.   It raised spending $16 billion when middle class families were cutting back on their budgets.  It was condemned by virtually every paper in the State as being out of balance.  It left us with an immediate deficit that was only cured last month.”

“While the Governor’s tough choices are necessary, they must be spread out evenly.  I am concerned that while the Governor is proposing to cut school aid statewide by 5%, many Hudson Valley Districts would lose considerably more.  The biggest loser may be a hit TV show, but I do not want it applying to school aid in my communities and will fight to make the budget fairer.  For example, Goshen, Pine Bush, Highland Falls, Andes, Delhi, and Downsville would all see aid reductions of more than 10% under the Governor’s plan.  We need to balance the reductions better, and hopefully if the economy picks up, eliminate the cuts entirely.” 

“I applaud the Governor’s moratorium on land purchases.  Clearly the State should not be buying more land if it cannot properly manage the land it now owns.  I also applaud his call to overhaul Empire State Development.  Anyone who has tried to start a business in New York, knows that agency needs a complete makeover.”

“The budget leaves us with a lot of work.  My hope is, this year, the Legislature will function in a non-partisan way, and in a way which makes life more affordable for all New Yorkers – not just those from New York City.”