Fiscal Irresponsibility Still Cornerstone of New York’s Problems

Statement by Assemblyman Michael J. Fitzpatrick (R,C,I – Smithtown)

Governor Paterson today introduced his plan to reduce New York’s budget deficit. Although I applaud his effort and am glad that he has initiated a forum for open dialogue, the plan continues New York’s record of fiscal irresponsibility, and, in the long run, may do more harm than good.

Right here on Long Island, our localities are struggling under the burden of the current fiscal crisis and are unable to incur any more financial stress, but, unfortunately, the governor is proposing just that. The governor’s Deficit Reduction Plan (DRP) is calling for cutting local assistance aid by $1.3 billion, which is about 44 percent of his entire DRP.

Along with cutting local assistance, the governor is calling for a cut in school aid, which historically will target Long Island schools. It amazes me that while our schools already are financially strapped, the governor would propose more cuts. The governor needs to focus on more structural cuts which include eliminating waste and preventing fraud and abuse so that taxpayer dollars are not being sent down the drain.