Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today blasted Governor Paterson’s "Back-to-School" program’s lack of transparency and accountability. The Governor’s plan would cost taxpayers approximately $140 million by providing $200 per child to all welfare and food stamp recipient whether they are complying with program requirements.
"Once again, the Governor does not get it. New York State is looking at a $2.1 billion budget deficit, and he wants to increase hand outs. Nobody wants to deny people assistance during a time of need, but I argue that every hard working taxpayer would like some assistance from Governor Paterson. After all, it was the tax increases in Governor Paterson’s state budget that took about $2,400 from every middle class family in this State," said Senator Golden.
The "Back-to-School" program was detailed in a secret memo from the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance. The grants would be given out even if a welfare recipient did not comply with work and other requirements or if their child was not enrolled in school.
Senator Golden went on to say that, "At a minimum, some guidelines or a voucher system should be put in place to ensure that the items being purchased with this money actually in some way, shape or form to a child actually going ‘Back-to-School,’"
"Governor Paterson is once again making the same mistakes of the past. We learned that providing an entitlement creates a cycle of dependency. He made a similar mistake with his budget. Rather than cutting spending he raised taxes. Why he insists on always returning to the failed policies of the past is beyond me. Welfare is meant to be a helping hand for those temporarily in need, not a handout to reward those who don’t want to work," continued Senator Golden.
"The Bottom line is that the Governor’s plan would bring us back to the bad old days when New York was known as the "Cadillac of welfare states," and one in every eleven New Yorkers was on welfare," concluded Senator Golden.