Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today announced that he shares Governor Paterson’s concerns about New York State’s budget deficit that ‘we have to act now – not tomorrow, not next week, not next year.’ “This deficit is a very real problem that will only compound if we don’t deal with it now,” said Senator LaValle.
“The problem is the result of a disastrous budget that included $12 billion in new spending and $8.5 billion in new taxes and fees,” continued Senator LaValle. “The budget deficit comes as no surprise to me when you approve spending that is out of control.
“I voted with my Senate Republican colleagues against this budget and have continually called for the passage of a spending cap that would force Albany to live within its means. If that were law today, we could have eliminated the projected $7 billion deficit and have $1.2 billion leftover,” concluded Senator LaValle.
Senator LaValle noted that we cannot impose midyear cuts on schools, higher education, and Medicaid without devastating results. He is also opposed to passing costs on to local governments that would force them to raise taxes and is against any action that impedes our ability to create jobs.
The Senate Republicans have proposed specific spending reductions to help close the budget deficit. They include:
>Reviewing the approximately $2.2 billion in general fund spending for possible reductions. Freezing all funds for new spending, and increases to current spending programs, would save hundreds of millions of dollars.
>Cutting state agency non-personal services by 10 percent
>Freezing state purchases of recreational lands
>Reinstating welfare and Medicaid anti-fraud protections
>Cutting Medicaid optional services
>Cutting state agency contract balances by 5 percent.
“Out of control spending has led to taxes people and businesses can no longer afford to pay and an enormous budget deficit,” Senator LaValle said. “At this point, our only course of action is to cut spending.”