Griffo Says Adopted State Budget is First of More Challenges To Com

Griffo: Hard work not over with budget passage

Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-C-IP, Rome) today said that the 2011-2012 adopted state budget is the first step in multiple levels of difficult decisions that must be made to reduce the overall tax burden on New Yorkers and address the fiscal realities of the state’s precarious finances.

“After years of runaway spending in Washington and Albany, tough decisions are being made at every level of government these days as we deal with the fiscal reality that there is no longer enough money to continue to spend the way Albany had for far too many years,” Griffo said. “As a legislator who has fought to support our schools for many years, I know the great work that takes place in classrooms. However, we cannot spend money that we do not have – that the taxpayers do not have. The Governor’s initial budget proposal reflected that reality, and while we were able to make adjustments and restorations to alleviate some of the severity, we were still forced to make tough decisions here in Albany. It’s not only schools that will be making tough decisions in our communities, but cities, towns and villages as well, in their budget cycles. Difficult decisions are necessary because we cannot spend our way out of our fiscal situation. More spending this year just piles fiscal irresponsibility unto the potential deficit next year.”

Griffo said that the budget represents a first step in what he hopes will be an effective partnership. “I believe Governor Cuomo has the right goals and priorities, even if I differ in some of his methods. The restoration in school aid the Senate was able to achieve came not through hardball politics, but constructive collaboration. The Governor has also pledged to consult with the Legislature and we’re hopeful that he’ll first consider our proposals for cost-savings before his administration decides on establishing the right size for New York’s prison system. I am confident that partnership with the Governor will continue as we look at other major issues ahead, including stronger actions to reduce mandates on schools and local governments; fighting waste fraud and corruption to ensure money goes where it is supposed to go; and developing a fiscally conservative approach to government that reflects the current economic climate.”

“The budget is not the end of a process, but a beginning,” Griffo said. “I want to see us use both the actions we are taking and the partnerships we are building to bring relief to our taxpayers and rejuvenation to our economy and communities.”