DIVISION OF THE BUDGET
DAVID A. PATERSON, GOVERNOR
December 2, 2009 CONTACT: Matt Anderson
STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR DAVID A. PATERSON
“While the deficit reduction legislation passed by the Legislature provides needed savings, it falls well short of what is necessary to put New York on the road to fiscal and economic recovery. It does not fully address our current-year budget deficit. It does not solve our severe cash-flow crunch. It does not address our long-term structural imbalance. And at $2.7 billion in current-year savings, it does not even achieve the $2.8 billion deficit reduction target that some have touted for two days.
“As Governor, I have a fundamental responsibility to keep our State solvent. Every day New Yorkers know that they simply cannot spend money that they do not have, and our State government should understand that as well. For decades, Albany has refused to take the necessary steps to control spending, and has too often put off until tomorrow what should have been done yesterday. I will not allow this to continue on my watch.
“Because certain legislators are unwilling to stand up and control spending for fear of the political consequences, I will move forward and implement the tough choices they were unwilling to make. In the coming days, I will direct the Division of the Budget to reduce State aid payments administratively in order to balance the budget and prevent New York from running out of cash.
“I have been and will continue to meet with Budget Director Robert L. Megna and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to assess the current cash-flow and revenue situation. Once that assessment is complete, I will announce the specific local assistance reductions I will implement unilaterally.
“I do not take this action lightly, but there is no other responsible path. If the Legislature will not do what is necessary, I will take the difficult actions that are needed to restore our State’s fiscal integrity.”