Contact: Phil Oliva, (518) 455-3756
For Immediate Release:
Monday, March 26, 2007

Reluctantly, Assembly Minority Puts Up Budget Clock
State in danger of having first late budget in three years

After two straight on-time budgets Assembly members figured their "countdown budget clock" was no longer necessary. However, with only six days left to go before the April 1st budget deadline, they sought to highlight the urgency of the situation, and once again put up the clock just outside the Assembly Chamber to remind the legislators that time was running out.

Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady, Saratoga) blamed the lack of public general conference committees and public negotiations for the stalemate.

"We had one five-way leaders meeting in public, only one. We tried to have others but the Assembly Majority wouldn't show up. That's a recipe for a late budget and it was one used to cook up 20 in a row at one point," said Tedisco. "Regardless of one's position on the budget, the more times you meet in public and debate and negotiate the more clear the positions become to the general public and the more pressure is generated to force action and compromise."

Tedisco has been largely critical of the high growth rates of spending found in the three budget proposals that have been put forward. He also has been resistant to the tax "loophole" closures on small businesses which he said adds up to some $500 million in tax hikes. The top priority of Tedisco and the Assembly Minority is major property tax relief delivered directly to homeowners and debt reduction.

Assembly Minority members also said they proposed a measure that would prohibit the Legislature from recessing after April 1st, except for public holidays, if a budget is not passed. They plan to urge the Assembly Majority to bring the bill to the floor for a vote today.

Assemblyman Jim Hayes (R-Amherst), Ranking Minority member on the Ways and Means Committee, said, "The taxpayers of this state know that late state budgets really hurt. Late state budgets increase taxes, create more debt and especially hurt school districts, local governments and not-for-profit organizations. The legislature must not be allowed to go on recess until they finish the most important job they have - passage of an annual budget - a good budget - on-time."

New York State Assembly
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