Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm Smith called on Skelos to convene an emergency session. Smith wants the State Senate to "protect the hundreds of thousands of jobs that have been put at risk by the extraordinary challenges facing New York’s financial markets.
"The collapse of Lehman Brothers, sale of Merrill Lynch and the extreme financial distress of AIG demand immediate action by the Legislature. Lehman Brothers alone has over 8,000 New York State employees who contribute more than $250 million in State taxes. New York State faces a potential loss of 35,000 jobs in the financial sector for calendar year 2008 and a potential $18 billion decrease in wages and bonuses, which would represent a decrease of approximately $1 billion of Personal Income Tax revenues to New York State this year.
The possible loss of jobs and revenue pose unprecedented challenges for our State. While the $20 billion that Governor Paterson made available to AIG is significant, the Legislature must get back to work to determine what can be done to provide further relief for policy holders and AIG employees.
Coupled with the rapid rise in home heating costs, it is absolutely essential that the Legislature convene an emergency session to protect working families.
The Legislature, together with Governor Paterson and the Executive Staff, should immediately convene a meeting of the state’s leading financial experts to provide advice and counsel, and assist us in designing and implementing the steps needed to mitigate the impact of these challenges, and take every action necessary to protect New York’s future.”
That's what Smith said.
So why does Skelos in his response say "However, we will not raise taxes as Senate Minority Leader Smith and the Democrats have called on us to do. In a fragile economy, it would be disastrous to support the Democrats’ efforts to raise taxes, as it would only exacerbate the crisis we face."
Smith didn't say anything about "raising taxes."
Why does Skelos have to lie when Smith wants to get to work to figure out how to blunt the impact of the disasters on Wall Street?
Skelos' course of action? "We will continue to monitor the fiscal situation, and if legislative action becomes necessary we will partner with the Governor and the Assembly to address this crisis and its related impact on New York State."
I guess Skelos wants to keep his republican senators out campaigning instead of trying to deal with a very real crisis.
Dean Skelos - Man of Inaction!