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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cut and pasted from the Gouverneur Times this morning

Written by Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell
I have been meeting with my colleagues in Albany to work out a plan to cut an addition $3 billion from the current year’s budget. I continue to advocate for solutions that do not just shift the burden onto property taxpayers and local governments. We cannot and must not impose additional taxes and fees onto our working families whose budgets are already stretched to the breaking point. This year’s budget was filled with many tough decisions. But my opposition to the $2.1 billion dollars in proposed new taxes and fees helped to defeat most of those measures, saving our families hundreds of dollars and ensuring the continuation of the STAR property tax exemptions.

I look forward to receiving the petitions regarding the license plate fees and will carry them with me to Albany, along with the petitions to repeal the floor tax which I gathered earlier this year, to deliver the message of North Country residents that we cannot shoulder any more of the burden.

As we continue to open this year’s budget and hash out a deficit reduction plan, I will be a vocal advocate against any measures that disproportionately affect North Country working families. Today in Albany I proposed strategies including shrinking the overall size of state government even further, changing the way we purchase items such as computers and software to realize significant savings, and giving mandate relief to local governments and school districts.

I have also indicated to my colleagues the critical need to help our farmers and to focus on job retention initiatives using our existing economic development resources. During these tough economic times we must work to stabilize and preserve small businesses and farms, bolstering them so they can continue to do business in this state.

(JD editor's note. For a full version of Assemblywoman Addie's latest personally written op/ed piece scroll down a few stories. She wrote it late Thursday and it was media delivered on Friday.)