For Release — October 8, 2009
Business Council applauds Governor's spending cuts; calls for more
ALBANY— With New York facing a three billion dollar budget deficit in this fiscal year, The Business Council of New York State is calling on Gov. Paterson and the legislature to act now to stop the ballooning deficit that is threatening the state's fiscal integrity and economic recovery.
The $500 million in state spending cuts ordered by Gov. Paterson is, as he said, a good first step. But, more must be done to plug a $3 billion budget gap. The gap can be closed and future deficits reduced by taking the following immediate actions:
- Implement a six percent across the board cut in state spending—for the remainder of the fiscal year. This could generate nearly $2 billion in savings.
- Order an immediate hard hiring freeze. New York State spends $10.6 billion annually on personnel. A hard hiring freeze --an absolute halt to hiring any new state workers -- is a common-sense step that pales in comparison to the job losses endured in the private sector. It would save a significant amount iin the rest of fiscal year 2009-2010, and would alleviate that portion of out-year expenses that new employees would create.
- Freeze property taxes at or below current levels and cap state spending to prevent cost-shifting from Albany to local governments.
“New York's continuing budget crisis threatens our entire economy,” said Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “Private sector job growth is the key to economic recovery but that will not happen if employers are forced to endure more tax increases.”
“To balance this year's budget and set the stage for further reductions to balance next year's budget the state needs to make substantial cuts in all areas of spending,” said Adams.
“New York has spent too much for too long and created a very serious budget crisis. Decisive action is required now to close the current gap while it is still manageable and to reduce state spending to align with falling revenues,” said Adams.