Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,IÃ¢â‚¬â€Pulaski) held a press conference with his colleagues in Albany today to outline real solutions to closing New YorkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s $3.2 billion budget deficit.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re in Albany in special sessions for the second week in a row to close the budget gap. So far, however, our leaders have taken no action and seem to be talking about everything but the budget. I have, again, presented solutions to Gov. PatersonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s deep cuts to school and municipal funding. This list has been submitted to the Governor for consideration and, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m hopeful that the majority leaders will put forth their suggestions so that all affected by mid-year cuts can plan accordingly,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Barclay.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our state reached its tax threshold long ago. The budget passed in the spring was too much for people to bear; on top of the unsustainable growth in government spending, new taxes and fees were added. I voted against the state budget, knowing it would only hurt taxpayers and business,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Barclay. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no surprise that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re back here, in this economic climate, trying to close a budget deficit.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“However, AlbanyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s continued inaction only allows the budget deficit to grow. The Legislature must take action,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Barclay. Below are ways Barclay suggests closing the budget gap:
- Cut non-essential personal services such as travel, postage, subscriptions and vehicles. This would save $500 million.
- Cut contract balances by 5%. The state spends roughly $129 billion on contracts which range from subscriptions to temp agency services. By reducing this expenditure by 5%, we would save roughly $300 million.
- Reduce the amount of money set aside to purchase private lands by $30 million.
- Add to the GovernorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s administrational savings plan to save $169 million.
- Trim agency cash balances, excluding Medicaid, school aid, aid to municipalities and libraries by 12.5% rather than 10% to save an additional $120 million.
- Continue to refinance bonds and debt for an additional $24 million in savings.