Government Affairs Albany UpdateJanuary 10, 2003
In his State-of-the-State message on Wednesday, Governor Pataki hit on many key Business Council issues for 2003. He said that his proposed budget would preserve existing tax cuts and include new, targeted tax incentives to encourage high-tech job creation; and would reduce state spending in every area but public security.
"As other states adopt massive tax increases in response to their fiscal crises, we must look beyond the short term to the future we want for ourselves and our children," the Governor said. "Let's make sure that what we say at home is what we do in Albany. Let's not say we are going to fight to create jobs and then come to Albany and vote to raise job-killing taxes."
Among other issues discussed in the State of the State message were:
- strengthening and renewing the Health Care Reform Act of 2000 (HCRA),
- development of the high-tech Centers for Excellence and STAR centers.
- education reforms, including refocusing the efforts of the Department of Labor, changing the way that Regents are selected, giving big-city mayors a great role in their local districts, and creating new teacher training centers.
- refinancing and reforming of the state superfund.
- adopting California's new greenhouse gas emissions standards for motor vehicles.
- assuring that, within ten years, at least 25 percent of all energy electricity bought in New York State come from renewable energy resources.
You can also obtain the complete text on-line at here:
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver issued a formal response to the Governor's State of the State message on Wednesday, which emphasized economic development issues. But the Speaker also said that the Assembly Majority "will not allow impending budget cuts to be balanced solely on the backs of our children, our working families, or on our public servants," and that they would fight against proposals seen as harmful to health care, education, and economic development programs.
Speaker Silver emphasized that the Assembly Majority is not advocating tax hikes, but that New Yorkers are already the subject "tax hikes" driven by others, including local property tax hikes, pending SUNY tuition increases, and MTA fee increases. "Clearly, we should not rush into proposing more tax hikes. As the Governor has said, neither should we rule them out. Rather, we should work together to find every reasonable and responsible way to reduce our deficit before we look to the taxpayers."
He also urged the Governor to act on an extension of New York City rent control, reform the Rockefeller drug laws, work to reduce the cost of electricity and auto insurance, and to help redevelop lower Manhattan and the city's financial services industry.
The complete text of the Speaker's remarks are available on-line at: http://assembly.state.ny.us/Press/20030108/