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Ceretto: Assembly majority's budget puts status quo ahead of reform

by jmaloni
Tue, Mar 13th 2012 08:25 am

Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, Monday voted against the Assembly majority's one-house budget resolution, because he said it lacks both short- and long-term mandate relief, cuts funding for economic development and job creation, and fails to seriously address New York's budgetary issues by seeking to borrow $441 million over the next five years while sweeping $200 million from NYSERDA into the state's general fund.

"The Assembly majority's proposed budget resolution is a scary wish list of spending that seeks to undue much of the progress lawmakers made last year," Ceretto said. "Their proposal lacks the serious mandate relief needed to help reduce costs for local governments and school districts and lower property taxes for homeowners.

"It also reduces economic development funding and sets up a job-creation program that lacks the funding and support needed to spur economic growth and put New Yorkers back to work."

He also blasted the spending proposal for not incorporating any type of budgetary reforms, rejecting plans in Gov. Cuomo's budget to merge several state agencies as a way to save taxpayers money, and for seeking to use borrowing and other fiscal gimmicks to pay for their irresponsible spending plan.

"New York state is still facing tough economic times, demanding that lawmakers redouble their efforts at reducing the size and cost of state government while instituting important fiscal reforms such as a spending cap and lower taxes," Ceretto said. "The majority's budget proposal simply does not go far enough in making the tough choices necessary to put the state on sound financial footing."

Other proposals that Ceretto took issue with include the absence of pension reform, the addition of a controversial micro-stamping provisions, and the refusal to expand the state's DNA database.

"It is imperative that lawmakers work hard over the next three weeks to pass a more responsible budget - one that will hold the line on spending, provide mandate relief and invest more in job creation," Ceretto said.

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