Thursday, February 3, 2011

Budget Bothers Breslin a Bit

"We must ask ourselves the following questions. Can our economy withstand a major influx of unemployed workers coming off the payrolls?"
That is the question from State Senator Neil Breslin, D-Albany, who is concerned about the ramifications of the state possibly laying off 9,800 workers. This potentially massive layoff has been laid out by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as the worst case scenario if the state workers don't agree to share some of the pain with cuts in benefits.
Regarding this cost saving measure, Breslin suggested that there might be increased overtime costs as a result. He added that the large number of unemployed people would add further stress to the state's budget, as these people would need some form of economic assistance. This last fear was echoed by Breslin's Republican colleague, Hugh Farley of Niskayuna.
Breslin, though, remains optimistic about avoiding this worst case scenario. "I am confident with [Cuomo's] leadership we can work together to develop a fiscally responsible approach to capture savings," he said.
"The Governor has demonstrated steady leadership during these challenging economic times. I know my colleagues and myself are anxious to work with him to develop a responsible budget that will return New York to fiscal solvency."
This somewhat mixed message from Breslin represents the hard realities of this budget. The truth about being fiscally conservative is that it sometimes requires hard choices, which is code for saying that regular people will be impacted. Savings won't just come from bloated pensions and scheduled raises, but also in the form of meaningful cuts that could represent a child's braces, a family's vacation or some jobs.

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