Local Legislators Respond To Pataki's State Budget

By Mike Trim

Local Legislators Respond To Pataki's State Budget

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 18, 2006 at 1:00 AM EDT

Governor George Pataki's budget address brought mixed reactions from state lawmakers from the Southern Tier.
"I was very pleased with it, because he talked about cutting taxes, cutting taxes, and creating jobs. And I think that's going to be very important for the Southern Tier," says Senator Thomas Libous.
Also important, Pataki's adding more Empire Zones to help business growth.
"We fought very hard to have Delaware County included with the Empire Zone System. It's very important for Delaware County and the governor made a proposal, we could have Empire Zones in all county's by the end of the year. That's a real plus," says Assemblyman Clifford Crouch.
But lawmakers are also adding up the minuses.
"We've got a lot of new spending in this, which is in fact going to add to our debt in the long run. So I'm a little reluctant to talk about how to spend extra money when I know we owe so much," says Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo.
Some of the new spending includes a new facility to hold sex offenders in Chenango County, and 50 million dollars more for a program to provide state aid to local governments.
Pataki said Medicaid Reform started last year will save counties millions of dollars.
But lawmakers will look closely at Pataki's plans to cut medicaid costs.
"In Chemung County, they're looking at a pilot program for a more involved managed care program of medicaid that could save 20 to 25 percent of medicaid cost. I was hoping to hear things like that mentioned today, and I didn't hear it," says Assemblyman Thomas O'Mara.
"In the upstate region, we depend on local hospitals, our nursing homes, other providers. And simply cutting them, I don't think is the way to go," says Senator James Seward.
Now the Assembly and Senate leaders will go through the plan and negotiate a final budget with the Governor.

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