"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

GOP Amendments

The Senate GOP amendments in short form for budget votes.

1. STAR rebate – restores STAR rebates removed from the budget by Democrats, saving $1.5 billion for homeowners. Flat education aid will compound the problem and will result in sticker shock for homeowners when they get their tax bills this fall. The double Democratic Senate whammy better known from here forward as the DD Whammmmmy - lose your rebate and get socked on your school property taxes - guaranteed! 
2. Spending cap – limits spending growth to an multiple of inflation. This budget hikes in spending by 7x the inflation rate in the midst of a recession. Worse, it commits stimulus funds for recurring costs, guaranteeing problems in out years.
3. No PIT – rejects the new PIT hike, which will give NY the trophy for the highest income tax rate in the country – nearly 10%. The so-called “millionaires tax” kicks in at $200,000, and will impact families, small business owners and farmers.
4. Mandate relief – no unfunded mandates and an effort to eliminate existing mandates on school districts and local governments - uh hum - something the Senate Democrats campaigned on. 
5. Libraries – restores an $8 million cut to public libraries, increasingly used by families as a form of low-cost entertainment, information and job searches for the newly unemployed. Ask a library and they will tell you that they see greater use during high unemployment. 
6. Higher Ed – Returns SUNY tuition hike funds to the university for use in the classroom. Democrats voted to use 95% of the $600 hike for budget relief. They did not approve a similar sweep for CUNY. Where are the Upstate 5 (the only majority representation we have in the downstate senate)?
7. Environment – Restores the $80 million cut to the EPF for farmland and open space preservation, clean water, zoos and others.
8. NYPA energy – Returns money swept from NYPA to be used for rate reduction and economic development. Eliminates new energy taxes that will cost average household $100 a year.
9. Drug reform – rejects drug law reforms that will spring up to 5,000 convicts already serving time and divert thousands more, including repeat offenders. The changes were adopted without public hearings and with little understanding of their full impact on public safety.
10. Jobs – a comprehensive plan including small business tax cuts and expanded access to subsidized health insurance programs to help businesses weather the downturn.
11. Agriculture – restores cuts to important farm programs and directs stimulus funds to be used to provide relief to struggling dairy farmers. (more on this coming)
12. Health tax – rejects a tax on health plans that adds $200-$300 to the annual cost.
13. Other taxes rejected
14. Prison closures
15. Schools reform


Anonymous said...

Change you can believe in.

Anonymous said...

EVERYONE IS MISSING THE POINT -- SPENDING DID NOT GO UP IN THIS BUDGET. THE INCREASE IN SPENDING IS FROM THE STIMULUS MONEY. GENERAL FUNDS WERE DECREASED IN THIS BUDGET ..CHECK YOUR FACTS DONT BELIEVE GOP TALKING POINTS!!! I love how every side is saying they got hit the hardest. If everyone in the state is bitching doesnt that mean that they did spread the pain out? and sacrifices are shared? The more I see people bitch, the better I feel about this budget.

Anonymous said...


This budget is a disaster and if you think because everyone is bitching and that is your definition of shared sacrifice, then you are warped. This budget spends too much, raises too much in taxes to support that spending and uses the stimulus money for recurring cost items.

Anonymous said...

General Funds? Is he stationed at Drum?

Stop with this buraeucratic nonsense.

This budget spends more, taxes more and does more damage to our long-term economic survival than any in history.

If you feel the need to defend it, then defend it, but don't pretend it's fiscally responsible.


Anonymous said...

Boy that 11:35 guy must be a Regents grajiate.

9%. Just short of 9% more than last year.

Republican talking points? Get a drug test. I'm sure there is money in the budget for a free one.

Anonymous said...

so farmers get another helping hand? Do the other sole proprietorships get handouts too? Do some of these guys who get paid NOT to produce, and then use that money to lease land to grow their ethanol subsidized corn on, do they get even more breaks? Milk isn't even good for you, if you're over 4 yrs old. There are 59 hormones in bovine milk- google it if'n ya don't believe me.

Anonymous said...

Is that you Drew?
Even if you remove stimulus spending state spending did go up.
And that's a fact.

As far as sacrificies it looks like taxpayers are the only ones who sacrificed in this year's budget. 3% pay increase for state workers, no tier v, no nominal cost sharing in medicaid, no elimination in member items. The budget actually increased welfare grants by 30% over the next three years (and that's on top of the $200 per child "back to school" welfare giveaway).

Oh and let's not forget the per diem increase as well as the pay increase for senate staffers. Will any lawmakers do the right thing and reject per diem stipends for this session? I'm not holding my breath.

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