Extra, Extra… Read All About It: Assembly Majority Says “New York State Must Cut Spending”

Op-Ed for the New York Post from New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua)
November 27, 2009

In the Post on November 24th, the Assembly Speaker penned an Op-Ed piece describing how well the Assembly majority is working to reduce the cost of state government. Really? This was probably one of the most fictional and creative articles ever produced for publication. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, going back to April of this year when Governor Paterson, the Senate majority and the Assembly majority passed a budget that committed to spend $132 billion of taxpayer money from April 1, 2009 until March 31, 2010. This budget is $10 billion more than last year and included $8.2 billion in new taxes and fees for the majority of New Yorkers. Personal income taxes were raised, property tax rebates were eliminated, license plates and fees were increased… are you feeling better yet? How about the $1.8 billion job-killing MTA Payroll Tax that the trio put on the 12-county metro New York region to help pay for the largess and waste of the MTA? Are you celebrating yet? What about the 41 separate license and fee hikes for sportsmen, with increases for fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation for a total of $62.9 million? How about the proposals for property tax caps and a state spending cap? Yep, they ignored them too. This past summer, as the Assembly Minority Leader, I called for the Governor and the other legislative leaders to convene immediately to address the budget deficit and work on a statewide economic development plan to save the jobs we have and create more jobs to help the 800,000 New Yorkers out of work find work. Guess what? …That did not happen either. Could you please ask the Senate majority and the Assembly majority where their $3 billion deficit reduction written plan is because in Albany it’s nowhere to be found. How many state agency consolidations do they propose, what state services have been reduced or eliminated, what sacrifices has the state workforce made? So now that we have established those facts, let me be clear, there have been many solid proposals to end the gridlock, put our state budget in balance, reduce state spending, taxes and debt, and come up with an economic plan that creates private sector jobs. Just ask an Assembly minority member near you; we have it in writing, and we back it up with our votes. Please check out reformny.org, or write to me at our state capitol to hear more real solutions to our very serious problems in New York State. It is time to separate fact from fiction because too much is at stake for all of us.

Brian M. Kolb serves as Leader of the Assembly Minority Conference. He can be contacted at kolbb@assembly.state.ny.us.