Friday, January 23, 2009

Minority Leader's Reaction to Midyear Cuts

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. released the following statement today in reaction to the Governor’s plan for midyear cuts.

"I appreciate the Governor’s efforts to keep Chapter 70 funding off the chopping block for the mid-year cuts, as well as his insistence on level-funding it for fiscal 2010. The cuts outlined today are dramatically lower than the level of cuts authorized by legislative Democrats.

However, the state and local tax increases on meals and hotel rooms are a concern. The deteriorating economy is not showing any signs of improvement, and I can hardly imagine a scenario where tax increases will stimulate the economy. Furthermore, when considering the fiscal 2009 budget back in July, the Governor only vetoed $122 million, when we had been warning him for months that the economy was taking a serious downturn. I think we could have been better prepared to handle this fiscal crisis had the Governor paid more attention to our caucus.

We are looking forward to analyzing the Governor’s Municipal Partnership Act II when filed next week. Based on what I have seen thus far there are some aspects we will like as well as well as several ideas we would like to add.

The fact remains though we need to lead with reforms, innovations, and efficiencies before we reach once again into the taxpayer’s pocket."