Senator Seward: "Secret budget fails miserably"

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C- Oneonta) commented today on the state budget proposal:

“As predicted Governor Paterson and his fellow New York City leaders are trying to ram through a budget which spends too much, raises taxes, and fails to increase jobs.

“The plan was hatched in secrecy, and now that it is finally out in the light of day, we are seeing why the leaders wanted to keep everyone in the dark. At a time when we are trying to turn the state around, this plan is an embarrassment, and will only result in the loss of more jobs across New York.

“New Yorkers who already pay the highest property taxes in the nation will see their bills rise, and on top of that, this budget agreement wipes out the STAR rebate checks. You will be paying more for bottled water, auto rentals, cigars and beer. Sportsmen will have to kick in more for hunting and fishing licenses. All of this to help pay for a state budget that totals a record $132 billion, an increase of nearly 10 percent.

“Small businesses will also take a big hit. Under the ill-advised plan, utility taxes will jump $600 million, and that is on top of nearly $240 million in extra health insurance taxes already approved in the governor’s deficit reduction plan. Again, the plan does nothing to create jobs in a state that sorely needs an employment boost.

“All of the governor’s talk about spending restraint has proven to be just that- talk. This budget increases spending by a whopping seven times the rate of inflation. There are no real reforms in this irresponsible plan. Without reforms and changes what are we going to do after the federal stimulus money runs out in two years?

“Senate Republicans will be offering a series of amendments to the budget; I can only hope rank and file Democrats will join us in supporting these measures before it is too late.”

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