Opinion

"It is outrageous that following the collapse of major financial institutions, AIG would choose to accept federal bailout money paid for by the taxpayers and then handout $165 million in bonuses.

"At a time when middle-class families throughout New York are struggling and unemployment is threatening to reach 10% statewide, Attorney General Cuomo is doing the right thing and investigating just how this money was distributed and taking the appropriate actions necessary to regain the trust of New Yorkers once again."

"Today I joined my Assembly Republican colleagues in calling for the Assembly and Senate to hold conference committees this year on the budget in order to show the people of New York that this process has not become a 'three men in a room' situation. Thus far, Governor Paterson, Senator Smith and Speaker Silver have denied both Dean Skelos and Jim Tedisco entry into closed-door meetings that have resulted in the same stagnant ideas we hear out of Albany year after year.

"Last year I had the pleasure to serve on the Health Joint Budget Subcommittee and was able to help save Long Island hospitals and nursing homes millions of dollars which otherwise were in danger of being cut. If the legislature does not have conference committees, there will be no oversight and no guarantee that the budget process is conforming to the reforms passed by the legislature in 2007.

"When Governor Paterson was sworn in one year ago today, he said he would work in a bipartisan manner for the benefit of all New Yorkers. It is my hope that the governor will follow through on that promise during his first full budget process as governor and invite Republicans into budget negotiations."


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