For Immediate Release: March 19, 2009
2009 Budget Clock Countdown Begins
(Long Island, N.Y.) With the Assembly Republican Budget clock up and running to signify the final weeks of negotiation before the passage of the state budget, Assemblyman Jim Conte (R,I,C,WF-Huntington Station) is voicing his concern over the secretive, three-men-in-a-room process, in which Democrat leaders are hashing out this year’s state spending plan.
“In true Albany fashion the state budget is being negotiated behind closed doors with little to no input from New Yorkers or the rank and file members of the Legislature,” said Conte. “Furthermore, with the Governor and Legislative leaders all being from New York City, I am really concerned that the needs of Long Island will be largely ignored during the budget process.”
Assemblyman Conte noted that in these tough economic times, state leaders should be looking for more, not less input from rank and file members and need to be committed to passing an on-time budget that reduces burdens on hardworking New Yorkers.
“The governor promised a more transparent budget process,” said Conte. “Unfortunately, like many of his promises, this one to was empty. To ensure a healthy democracy, we need more openness and transparency in state government and fewer closed door meetings.”
“The leaders are breaking the spirit of the budget reform laws that were passed at the beginning of Governor Spitzer’s first term. With that said, as a member of the Education Conference Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues during the budget process and I am hopeful that we will be able to pass a responsible and on-time budget this year,” concluded Conte.