Here’s Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s statement on the early passage of New York’s austere $132.5 billion budget:
Speaker Silver and the Assembly Democratic Majority congratulate Governor Cuomo on the completion of the Administration’s first budget, the result of which is the enactment of the first “early” state budget since 1983. We are confident that this will be the first of many agreements the Legislature will reach in concert with the Governor; agreements that will restore New Yorkers’ faith in our government, make it more efficient and more productive, and help to make our great state a better and more prosperous place in which to live, to work, and to do business. The final product, the 2011/2012 state budget, is a sobering one. Difficult and painful decisions had to be made to address the fiscal reality facing our state. The Assembly Majority, working with the Governor, was able to achieve some critical restorations that will soften the cuts affecting working families, students, senior citizens and or most vulnerable populations. We also supported the Governor’s economic development strategy, particularly the plan to spur job creation throughout Upstate New York. Although “the millionaire’s tax” was not included in the final budget agreement, we will continue our efforts to convince our partners that it was and is the right thing to do at this time.