"I stood with my fellow Republicans and called for a fair and open budget process. We have only one week left to pass an on-time budget, yet, thus far, we have not heard a single detail from Governor Paterson, Senator Smith or Speaker Silver on how this budget will properly fund our schools, provide health care to those in need or close the growing budget gap projection, which earlier today was increased from $13 billion to $16.2 billion.
"Governor Paterson has said repeatedly that we are in the midst of the worst financial crisis of our lifetime and that revenue projections are getting worse month after month; yet, he continues to push for passage of a budget which increases spending at a time when state revenues are declining at a record pace. It is time that the Democrats in charge of this process undergo a reality check and allow Republicans and the public in on the public budget negotiations. Only then can we cut state spending and avert a possible income tax hike on April 1 when we still have no clear consensus on the budget."