Today I sat down at a five-way meeting with the Governor and the Leaders of the Senate and Assembly to try to address the State’s looming budget deficit. I hoped we would be able to bring some proposals to the table and discuss any ideas that would help close the budget gap. I brought with me a lot of ideas that I think could really help the present situation, but Speaker Silver hardly spoke up, he didn’t offer any new ideas or even which of Governor Paterson’s ideas he was supporting.
The only thing Speaker Silver mentioned was his sudden opposition to one-house bills. The reality is that the Speaker brought 1,153 one-house bills to the Assembly floor last year. It is amazing to me that the Speaker today condemned against such actions, when he passed a bill in the August 19 special session that would have created a $1.75 billion job-killing tax. Why, when it comes to trying to figure out how to reduce spending, one-house bills are off the table, yet he eagerly supported a bill that would increase state taxes?
Speaker Silver has long been a supporter of increased spending and has helped put New York in its present fiscal crisis. The State is in an economic ditch, and the media should demand that he explain his contributions to New York’s budget problems.
Today’s special session was pointless and accomplished nothing, but it cost New York’s taxpayers $40,000. Webster’s Dictionary may want to consider redefining the word ‘irony’.
The Governor needs to lead by example. He should have asked the Speaker directly which cuts he was supporting and he should have asked for at least one idea from him to address our fiscal problem. The Governor let the Speaker off the hook.
Today was a circus. I’m sad to say the dysfunction in New York State government has gotten worse. For the good of the taxpayers, this trend must change immediately.
Here's a small segment of the meeting where all the leaders had a chance to argue their positions. I came in towards the end.