The battle for control of the State Senate dove-tails with the current and looming fiscal crisis for the state. A special session has been planned for after the election to address the budget short-fall for the rest of 2008 and going forward into 2009 and 2010. With the market collapse and failures of banks, New York State is in for a wild ride. $2billion or more must be cut from the 2008 budget.
These cuts are more political than ever because of the election.
Last week, Minority Leader Malcolm Smith who is poised to majority Leader when the Democrats take over the Senate was attacked by Skelos because when asked about cuts, Smith made a general comment "I think everything is on the table.”
Skelos went nuts claiming that Smith wanted to cut education funding “Senator Smith’s comments about mid-year school aid cuts should concern every property taxpayer in Nassau County and across the state,” Senator Hannon said. “I am not going to go back on my commitment to education or my commitment to property tax relief. Mid-year school aid cuts would hurt our classrooms, reduce the quality of education and result in higher property taxes that we simply cannot afford. At a time when the economy is in trouble and people are losing their jobs, increasing taxes would only inflict more pain on New York families.”
Smith aid nothing at all about cutting school aid but that didn't stop Skelos from accusing him of doing it. Smith in a release said "Senate Democrats are not cutting education funding. The only special interest Senate Democrats care about is New York's children and we're going to protect them. The Senate Republicans have been as good for education in New York as Bush has been for the economy."
Cut to Senator Carl Marcellino, republican from Nassau County. Skelos' buddy and ally.
In the News12 debate that usually wouldn't create news, Marcelino said in response to Moderator Scott Feldman's question about the budget "Everything is on the table. Everything HAS to be on the table."
When pressed about school aid cuts, Marcellino was adamant "I am prepared to take a hard look at every aspect of the budget. What we can cut we have to cut. There is no doubt about it.
See the Video below for Carl in his own words:
Let's see Skelos and Marcellino explain that one.