Despite New York State’s growing $3 billion deficit, state senate leaders did not respond to Governor David Paterson’s speech to a joint session of the legislature as he would have liked.
As New York faces an economic collapse similar to the one in California, state legislators are doing what they have always done, avoiding any unpopular yet necessary actions that could threaten their jobs, while the Governor avoids pushing too much and is all too willing to compromise.
New Yorkers have come to expect the state legislature to avoid any unpopular actions but many are starting to worry that this inaction will result in a California-like financial mess.
The biggest problem that Senate Democrats see with the $3.2 billion in budget cuts is that around $1 billion of that will come out of the education and hospital budget. Senators like Carl Krueger have responded with alternatives to the plan but the one-time fixes that he has proposed will only lead the state into more debt.
Legislators are expected to continue to debate the issue on Monday but few are optimistic about the tough but necessary cuts being made. The New York Times has reported that David Paterson has already shown signs of backing down.
Carl Krueger, who also serves as the Chairman of the Finance Committee in the state senate, will likely win this battle. A win for him would simply mean that New York will continue to have financial problems even after the current economic crisis is over.