Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb Comments On The November 10, 2009 Extraordinary Legislative Session

November 10, 2009

“Today’s Extraordinary Session of the Legislature was a complete and utter failure to the people who count the most, the residents of New York State. We traveled to Albany with the intent of righting the wrongs enacted in this year’s budget, which once again spent beyond the State’s means. Last spring, my Assembly minority colleagues and I opposed the out-of-control spending and gimmicks that put us in this predicament.

My colleagues and I have not been sitting on the sidelines during this process. Since June, as Leader of the Minority Conference, I have been calling for Leaders’ meetings to address New York’s spending problem and growing deficit. Our calls were ignored until September, when the Governor asked each Conference for a list of ideas, which we provided to him and the other Legislative Leaders on October 13. We have consistently offered, in a bipartisan way, suggestions for budget deficit reduction, spending cutbacks, along with the proposals put forth by Unshackle New York.

In addition, our Conference offered an amendment, the Governor’s State Spending Cap, to send a strong message to taxpayers that we are serious about letting them keep more of their hard-earned money. This, too, was rejected by the majority on a procedural vote.

Tonight, we had the opportunity to take up the Governor’s “Deficit Reduction Plan,” or act on some of the non-partisan ideas our Conference offered several weeks ago to close the shortfall. The majorities in both houses did nothing toward that goal. Not only was that wrong, it was totally irresponsible.

We can’t afford to waste chances like this to fix New York’s deficit and get our state back on solid financial ground. We should not return home until the job is done.”