Reaction Statement from New York State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr. to Governor's Budget

Pedro Espada, Jr.

January 19, 2010

“The Governor’s budget frames the multi-year fiscal challenge that faces all New York residents. Obviously, we all have to learn to do more with less. Government, in particular, must control spending. At the same time, we must be creative and practical and work together to help those who have been hit hardest by this economic crisis. Creating jobs, providing tax relief, assisting small businesses, and helping tenants who can't pay their rents – these actions will not only help state residents through these difficult economic times, they will place the state on track to economic recovery,” said State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr.

“The state economy is fragile, but New York and its residents are resourceful. As Majority Leader, I intend to hold public hearings throughout the state to get everyone to think creatively, to tap the state’s greatest resource – its people – so all New Yorkers will have a voice in the solutions we ultimately craft to cut spending, create jobs and provide tax relief,” Sen. Espada added.

“We need to look beyond conventional solutions. For example, I am proposing a permanent rent freeze initiative through legislation that would impact the poor and working families who reside in rent-stabilized apartment buildings, those whose wages are $45,000 or less and pay one-third or more of these wages for rent. This would provide $100 million to nearly 300,000 eligible rent-stabilized apartment households, helping close to three-quarters of a million tenants. This will not cost the state or city a dollar, as funding for this program would be generated from landlords. Specific details will be provided in the legislation that I will soon be introducing,” Sen. Espada said.

On the Governor's proposal to implement a tax on soda and other sugar-laden beverages, Sen. Espada said, “That's the easy way out. If we truly want to make an impact on reversing juvenile obesity and diabetes, we must find ways to support reimbursement for health centers and nutritionists who are doing the real work on the front lines of our communities in this effort to prevent chronic obesity and diabetes among children and adults.”