‘It Is What It Is’
The first public leaders meeting in more than two months is underway, and so far there has been a lot of posturing and not much in the way of progress.
In his opening statement, Gov. David Paterson did another rendition of his “I don’t want to do this but I have to” speech, saying the deep spending cuts to education, health care and a host of other areas is something he is forced to do as a result of the state’s ongoing fiscal crisis.
“However, it is what it is,” Paterson said. “We’re in the situation that we’re in. Other states have confronted it. Many states have not confronted it. Because of that, five to 10 states are in jeopardy of going in default…No state has gone into default since Nevada did in 1930. But that’s where America is right now.”
“…To this point, New York is not on the list of the top 20 states whose deficit is a significant portion of their GDP, but we could get there in a heartbeat if we don’t act and we don’t act swiftly.
Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson echoed Paterson’s “it is what it is” line (which is kind of funny, because that same line appears on a sign outside Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office on the third floor of the state Capitol).
He then reiterated his conference’s desire for property tax relief, saying the issue is “not just about checks” to be sent to seniors in an election year, but “some sort of structural reform.”
Sampson said he’ll be naming members to the budget conference subcommittees today (why this hasn’t happened yet speaks volumes).
Silver then took the floor and stressed the parties should end their engagement in “political theater” and get something done. He then said the Assembly Democrats won’t agree to anything they feel puts a disproportionate share of pain onto “working men and women” (that’s code for labor unions).
Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos railed against the fact that there have been no conference committee meetings and insisting the GOP has been “left out of the process.” Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb condemned the entire budget process, saying it has been a “disaster,” adding: “We’ve wasted 50 days since April 1.” He also said he called for public leaders’ meetings last year and was told by the governor’s office: “Doesn’t the Assemblyman know we’re on summer vacation?”
YNN’s Kaitlyn Ross is in the Red Room (I’m on the set). She reports a number of GOP senators are in the room, including: Hugh Farley, Mike Nozzolio, Joe Robach, Jim Alesi, Tom Libous, Ken Lavalle, Roy McDonald, Kemp Hannon, Cathy Young, George Maziarz, John DeFrancisco, Owen Johnson, Betty Little and Carl Marcellino. There are fewer Democrats in the room, she said, adding that she has spotted Liz Krueger, Carl Kruger, and Darrel Aubertine.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on May 18, 2010 at 11:43 am, and is filed under David Paterson. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|