Senator Smith Renews Call For Sweeping Government Reform Following Governor's State Of The State Address

Malcolm A. Smith

January 19, 2006

Following the Governor’s annual State of the State Address, Senator Smith (D- Queens) called on the Legislature to pass sweeping reform measures meant to improve our public schools, strengthen Medicaid, lower taxes, create jobs and allow state government to better serve New Yorkers.

"The momentum for change is springing up across the state in communities like ours. We need to continue to push for institutional change in government and I’ll continue to work with theNew York State Senate Minority Conference and any group or party that is committed to working with us to make government more transparent," said Senator Smith.

Senator Smith cited how local governments have been agents for change. Faced with runaway Medicaid costs, county governments pushed for reforms that are beginning to save money and improve health care delivery. "Capping or eliminating the local share of Medicaid funding is essential to reducing our local tax burden and creating opportunities for economic growth in my district," said Senator Smith. "We can reform New York’s health care system while preserving our safety net for the most needy."

"As far as public education goes, every child deserves an equal opportunity to succeed. So we can no longer ignore a court order directing the State to adequately fund New York’s under-funded schools," said Senator Smith. "It’s imperative, not only for schools in my district, but for children in classrooms across the state, that we equitably fund our public schools."

"Reforming the Legislature will have a transformational affect on governing. Opening up the budget process will help ensure a fair, on-time budget," said Senator Smith. "Reforming government programs will save billions of dollars and allow us to cut taxes to benefit working families, expand affordable housing and reduce the high cost of energy, insurance, workers’ compensation and construction that is holding back economic investment in New York."