“The Governor has stated that beginning next week, the Legislature will be kept in the Capitol for five-day sessions. I say that is not good enough and instead of us returning to work in our districts today, we need a different approach alike the process of electing a Pope.
“New York State has a projected $9-billion deficit and, both houses of the legislature have agreed to $6-billion in spending cuts but still must find sensible solutions on the difference. We know the State’s revenues and know its priorities including public safety, health care and education but still must agree on tax relief, cutting the state’s spending and controlling the size of government so that it is in line with what the taxpayers can afford.
“However, what the State Legislature lacks is the collective will needed to make these tough choices. Drastic times call for drastic measures, and in this unparalleled economic time, as elected officials, we need to balance this budget no matter how difficult that may be.
“Municipalities and school districts throughout New York State, like my home city, Yonkers are facing exorbitant budget shortfalls of their own. Without knowing what their state aid will be, cities like Yonkers are in crisis leaving jobs, education and much more in peril. We cannot shy away from tough times and, I will continue to fight tooth and nail to protect Yonkers families and continue to help Mayor Amicone deal with his current budget gap.
“We must do our best to protect the working families of this state from an unfair share of the burden at a time when they need relief most. We must come together, not leave Albany and pass this budget. There is no more room for excuses as such, I am calling on all state officials to pass a final budget – the time for us to lead is now.”