Response to Governor’s Deficit Reduction Plan

October 15, 2009

“With the release of Governor Paterson’s Deficit Reduction Plan, we once again see the Executive Branch struggling for a way to shift blame and place the burden upon county and local governments. Not only will his proposed 10% across-the-board cuts to local assistance cripple localities, but a $480 million school aid reduction, based on “fiscal capacity, student need and residential tax effort” will undoubtedly spare New York City and urban schools, while leaving smaller upstate schools in the red.

The governor’s plan includes two major reforms – Tier V pension reform and a spending cap – that would provide substantial cost savings. However, we need to root out fraud and abuse and work to create a more sensible mindset when it comes to budgeting for the state. No longer should government leaders be able to create new high-paying positions while the taxpayers are left to foot the bill.

There are many other ways to cut the budget, such as eliminating member-item pork, reduce state funding for the purchase of private lands, and remove the mandate on localities to provide optional Medicaid services.

Governor Paterson needs to take responsibility and help dig us out of the hole that we are in – and do what is best for New York.”