Statement From Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith Regarding Progress On The 2008-09 Budget

Malcolm A. Smith

March 19, 2008

"Today's five-way meeting was a great beginning but we still have work to do. We are prepared to stay in Albany seven days a week to reach a fair and on-time budget agreement.

New York state is facing tough budgetary challenges as we embark on the 2008-09 State Fiscal Year. As the nation experiences an economic downturn in part due to the sub-prime lending crisis, we must take a fiscally prudent approach to meeting the State's expected deficit, while minimizing the pain that is inevitable.

The mission is simple, we must reduce the proposed Executive Budget while creating jobs, lowering property taxes and improving access to health care and a quality education throughout the state. This is a collaborative effort that must yield results that will benefit the 19 million residents of New York state."