Standing in the corner to my left, at not even one full term, we have Governor David Paterson. To my right, standing at 212 members strong (or so they say), we have the New York State legislature. We’re in the 16th round (although there’s only 12 in professional boxing, that’s how many WEEKS late the budget is) and the fight goes on. But aren’t you sick of watching? Unfortunately, it feels like the real losers in this seemingly endless fight are the state of New York, its citizens and taxpayers. Prepare yourself…they’re headed back in the ring today!
It may not appear on HBO, but this fight will resume in the middle of this week coming to every TV, newspaper and blog near you. On Sunday, Governor Paterson announced that he is calling the state Legislature into special session to try and reach a final agreement on the 2010/11 budget. On top of the budget, the governor wants the legislators to also vote on items they previously said no to including: enacting a property tax cap, selling wine in grocery stores, taxing sugary drinks and letting public colleges set tuition rates.
So who are we waiting for? The Senate, who have yet to approve the revenue bill to complete the budget. Who keeps getting unfairly knocked around? You do! Although we are the ones watching the fight, we are the ones most affected by those in the ring, with high taxes, increased spending and dare I say the b-word…borrowing.
Gov. Paterson also included many of his legislative initiatives from earlier, hoping to put the legislators on the spot if they do not accept his agenda items.
What is the fight about and how long do we have to sit back and watch? Well, the budget the governor wants passed is a $136 billion budget. Not so cheap, is it? Don’t forget the $9.2 billion deficit. Considering it has taken so long for the budget to be passed, that means more revenue will be needed, with less and less time to raise it. The revenue bill that the Senate has yet to approve also contains nearly $1 billion in new taxes. It’s a game of cat and mouse, who’s right and who’s wrong? If our representatives had really represented what NYS taxpayers need and want, perhaps a stronger and more fiscally sound budget would have been passed already. Wishful thinking.
Paterson’s other agenda items besides those already mentioned, include:
- A contingency plan in case NYS does not receive the $1 billion in Medicaid funding.
- A new program, Energize New York that will replace the Power for Jobs program, which provides more accountability in providing lower cost electricity to selected employers to add or retain jobs.
So tune in today for the fight of the decade….well, the past few months. Before you get too excited and prepare for the final bell to ring, while the Legislature must report to Albany, they are not required to vote or debate the issues, let’s just hope they do and do it right.
Either way, someone will eventually get tired. Let that be YOU. We have sent them off to Albany, time and time again, to fight for us, some of them instead fight each other or make the fight and focus about their own reelection. Let November 2nd really be JUDGMENT DAY! Remember what some of our lawmakers failed to fight for and those who made promises that they couldn’t keep.
It’s time for a 16th Round TKO. Judgment Day style.