"As I approach the 2009 legislative session, I will be doing everything possible to create programs and pass legislation that will give people hope that New York is still a viable place to live, work, and raise a family. Clearly, the budget deficit and turning around New York’s economy will be key to restoring that hope," said Senator Ken LaValle.
"In delivering his State of the State Address, Governor Paterson made it very clear that New York is faced with an historic economic crisis and that our budget deficit is growing by millions of dollars a day.
"The Governor’s proposed budget includes more than $6 billion in tax and fee increases that would impact everything from the education of our children to the availability of health care for our families to the taxes New Yorkers must pay.
"We simply cannot raise taxes and fees when our economy and families are struggling. People have already tightened their belts and are doing more with less.
"I am committed to protecting hardworking taxpayers from massive tax hikes and fighting for property tax relief. I will stand strong in opposition to increasing taxes and making cuts that would force increases in local property taxes.
"Now, more than ever, we need to invest in our economy. The Senate approved a plan that would redirect existing state funds into tax breaks for small businesses that employ millions of New Yorkers. The reduced tax burden would help businesses grow and allow them to create even more jobs.
"The Senate Republicans are prepared to work cooperatively with the Assembly and the Governor to overcome our fiscal challenges. However, we have a responsibility to ensure that cuts are applied fairly and that they don’t create an undue burden on any one segment of the public.
"It is my hope that, working together, we can overcome the fiscal challenges before us and achieve an early budget that controls spending and protects the interests of the taxpayers," concluded Senator LaValle.