Palmesano: Budget represents tough choices, step in the right direction

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano released the following statement Thursday in response to the adoption of the state budget:

"The budget we passed last night reflects the difficult decisions we needed to make to address our state's fiscal crisis.  It's not a perfect plan, but it is certainly a step in the right direction by avoiding new taxes and helping businesses grow and create jobs with positive economic development programs.

"Our goal for this budget was to make responsible decisions and we were able to accomplish that by reducing spending while not raising broad-based taxes or borrowing. This budget closes our current $10 billion budget deficit and reduces our projected budget deficit for 2012-2013 from $15 billion to between two and three billion dollars.

"In addition, it closes our projected four-year budget gap from $63 billion to less than $10 billion. This budget reflects an actual reduction in spending from the previous year's budget, $3 billion from last year's budget, from $135.5 billion to $132.5 billion, the first time in 15 years.

"This budget also sends a positive message to the private sector that we are committed to cultivating an economic environment that will foster business and encourage job growth.  It provides critical economic development tools to help small business with the expansion of tax credits through the Excelsior Jobs Program.  In addition, the adoption of the Recharge New York power program will expand the long-term availability of low-cost power to the business community, making New York's business sector competitive with other states.

"This budget also moves us forward toward 'rightsizing' our state government by authorizing the consolidation of our many state government agencies, commissions and authorities, which will result in streamlining overall state operations and saving taxpayers money.

"I look forward to working with my colleagues as we move forward in this legislative session.  We must still address the many other important issues still outstanding, including, mandate relief for school districts and local governments, property tax relief for homeowners, ethics reform and creating jobs for the nearly 800,000 unemployed New Yorkers."