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For Release — Nov. 6, 2009

Business Council says New Yorkers need the legislature to reduce spending

ALBANY— “New York legislators must return to Albany and take action to reduce state spending to save our state's economy,” said Kenneth Adams, president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “In every corner of our state, New Yorkers are looking for jobs and opportunity and they won't find it unless the legislature puts our fiscal house in order.”

“Nearly 850,000 New Yorkers are out of work and searching for jobs while another 450,000 have given up looking or can only find part-time work. Only private sector employers can create real jobs that will offer out-of-work New Yorkers hope and opportunity. But, those private employers are being drowned in a sea of taxes meant to support unsustainable state spending,” added Adams.

The Business Council pointed to Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's report that New York is facing a $27.5 billion cumulative deficit through Fiscal Year 2011-2012. DiNapoli has warned that even with some signs of economic recovery, state revenue collections continue to decline due to the state's reliance on personal income and sales-and-use taxes which are based on employment and consumption.

“New York cannot continue with business as usual. The budget deficit will consume the state's economy if legislators try to tax their way out of this hole,” said Adams. “The legislature must cut spending and should start by enacting the Governor's Deficit Reduction Plan (DRP) immediately.”

“While the DRP provides necessary first steps, we are concerned that more will need to be done to close this year's budget gap, and it seems certain that additional actions will be necessary to bring the FY 2011 budget into balance. Among other measures, such as restructuring school aid and Medicaid, we will need to reduce the size and cost of state and local governments,” said Adams. "A hard hiring freeze should be imposed at both the state and local level, and the Governor and legislature should explore other ways to reduce personnel costs, including pension and health insurance costs for state and local government employees.”

“New York needs 500,000 new jobs just to return to pre-recession employment levels. Those jobs will come only with economic growth and that growth can't happen until New York reduces its spending and then reduces its tax burden,” said Adams.

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