2009 – October 26

2009-10 NYS Deficit Reduction Testimony of Bob Cohen to Assembly Ways and Means Committee (click to download PDF)

Governor Paterson has acknowledged the pain that his proposed $5 billion DRP, including $1.3 million in local assistance cuts for SFY 2009-10, would cause to New Yorkers that are dependent on this funding.  The Governor’s simple answer – repeated again and again – is that he has no choice to make each of his cuts, including $480 million in mid-year cuts to schools ($686 million on a school-year basis), given the severe downturn in the economy in the state and the nation.  However, even assuming that some cuts may be inevitable given the state fiscal situation (which we don’t), the Governor has proposed cuts of a far greater magnitude than necessary.  Further, certain proposed cuts are simply unfair and unwarranted and the Governor has curiously failed to propose obvious alternatives to mitigate the most severe cuts.