Governor Paterson’s State Of The State Address Can Make 2010 The “Year Of Reform” By Focusing On Several Specific Priorities

Statement from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua)
January 5, 2010

“Tomorrow, Governor David Paterson delivers his second State of the State Address to Members of the state Legislature and all New Yorkers eager to hear his action plan, which will shape the policy agenda for the coming legislative session. The address can help ensure 2010 is the ‘Year of Reform,’ by specifically focusing on several key priority areas our Assembly Minority Conference and I have continually called for:

NO NEW TAXES: We urge the Governor to call for no new taxes, fees or surcharges in his State of the State Address. New York families already pay the second-highest combined state and local taxes in the nation and can’t afford another dime in taxes.

PROPERTY TAX AND STATE SPENDING CAP: Holding the line on taxes and wasteful spending also includes enactment of a property tax and state spending cap, which is something our Conference has continually called for. With talk of state aid to localities being reduced, we need a tax cap in place to protect homeowners from any further property tax increases. The Governor needs to reaffirm the need for a property tax and state spending cap in his speech, and publicly urge the Majorities in both the Assembly and Senate to support it.

MORE PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS: The Governor should implement a comprehensive statewide economic development plan that focuses on creating jobs in the private sector. New York’s unemployment hit a 26-year high in 2009. Getting New Yorkers back to work begins by growing jobs where we need them most: the private sector.

REFORM STATE GOVERNMENT: We need top-to-bottom reform throughout state government: ethics reform for the people serving in it, and then reform for the institution itself through convening a non-partisan, grassroots ‘People's Convention to Reform New York’ that will empower citizens to take back their government.

By highlighting these public priorities during his State of the State Address tomorrow – and providing an action plan to ensure their timely completion – the Governor will put the considerable power of his ‘bully pulpit’ to good use and get the session off to a positive start in tackling these and other critical challenges facing New York.”