Governor Spitzer Calls on State Leaders to Support a "One New York Budget"

Press Release


Addresses Need for Unity in Passing Responsible State Budget

Governor Eliot Spitzer delivered remarks today at the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) annual breakfast stressing the importance of passing a state budget that advances the common interests of all New Yorkers - focusing with a singular purpose on making New York, once again, the center of economic growth and opportunity. The Governor detailed his priorities in this year's Executive Budget and stressed the need to transcend what he described as "geographic and interest-driven sectionalism" for the sake of a budget that addresses the needs of all New Yorkers.

"History has shown us and present circumstances dictate that we must cast aside division and come together as One New York," said Governor Spitzer. "Sectionalism will not take us where we need to go if we are to transform our economy, lower health care costs and elevate our schools and universities to the next level. So it is imperative that the fundamental principle of ‘One New York' guides our budget deliberations and it is in this spirit that we must enter the budget season. We are one State with one future, and we will rise and fall together."

In his remarks, Governor Spitzer referenced both the Erie Canal and the New York City fiscal crisis of the 1970's as prime examples of times when leaders overcame division in favor of the common interest. The Governor used these examples to frame each of his major budget priorities - from a school aid formula driven by education need instead of regionalism, to a patients-first health care agenda that increases access, lowers cost and improves quality for all New Yorkers. He used the same construct to highlight the need for his proposed $1 billion Upstate Revitalization Fund, which he likened to the State bailout of NYC in the 1970s, as well as the need to invest in transportation infrastructure and affordable housing in order to sustain economic growth Downstate.

The ABNY address took place a month after Governor Spitzer unveiled his 2008-09 Executive Budget. The budget closes a projected budget gap of more than $4 billion without raising taxes, while making key investments in education, health care, and economic development. The balanced budget fulfills the Governor's budget goals of responsibly closing the budget gap, protecting core priorities and investing for economic growth. Key elements of the Governor's budget include proposals to invest in our students' education by increasing accountability, reform our health care system to lower costs and improve quality care for patients, revitalize the state's economy and create jobs, and advance critical housing and development projects that were once mired in gridlock.

During this year's budget process, New York will be forced to confront significant fiscal challenges, which is another reason why the Governor is pushing a "One New York" budget that uses finite resources most efficiently. A slowing national economy has weighed heavily on the state's financial outlook. Since last April, the Division of the Budget has lowered its 2008-09 revenue estimates by more than $1 billion compared to its initial projections.

For more than 30 years, ABNY has served as a civic organization, working to bring business, political, labor, community and non-profit leaders together to address problems facing the economic and social well-being of the city. Under the leadership of William Rudin, the organization continues to carry out its mission by providing forums and programs that work to make New York a better place to live, work, and visit.

Over the years, ABNY has convened several breakfast forums that have brought together leaders of business, political, labor, community and non-profit organizations to discuss tough issues facing New York City and New York State.