Contact: Joshua Fitzpatrick, (518) 455-3751
For Immediate Release:
July 29, 2008

Statement from Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco

"Governor Paterson's address tonight about the deteriorating condition of our state's finances is a wake-up call to the status quo and special interests that have put New York on a collision course with financial disaster. News that the state's deficit has grown dramatically, coupled with a significant downturn in revenue, should not come as a surprise: state government spends, taxes and borrows too much.

This crisis did not happen overnight. It has been growing for years, as spending has risen and the state's credit cards have been maxed out. The chickens have finally come home to roost.

Our Assembly Minority Conference has publicly sounded an alarm on the importance of returning to fiscal accountability that places the needs of constituents ahead of the wants of elected officials. If state spending had been limited to the rate of inflation, as our Conference has supported, state finances would not be in this terrible shape.

Now that the Governor has brought this fiscal crisis to the public's attention, the hard work - and the tough choices - must begin. More than ever, we need this Governor to lead and make the tough choices. If making those choices and standing up to the special interests results in his being a one-term Governor, then he would likely go down in history as the person who righted New York's ship of state and we would owe him a debt of gratitude. Our Conference will follow such leadership.

Albany must summon the political will to make the real changes New York needs. It is time for state government to learn to live within its means and budget for priorities, just as countless families across New York State do every day.

Controlling spending is only half of the equation. Capping property taxes on homeowners, decreasing taxes on small businesses and reducing energy costs will help grow our economy and increase revenues. Our state cannot tax its way out of this fiscal crisis - raising taxes in the midst of a recession would only dig New York deeper in debt and postpone our state's day of fiscal reckoning.

As New Yorkers, we are in this together - we must forge bi-partisan solutions that will achieve the types of real change state government truly needs. We need this Governor and all Members of the Legislature to not just 'talk the talk,' but to 'walk the walk' and actually lead. This is what New Yorkers expect. It is what they deserve."

New York State Assembly
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