One of Governor Eliot Spitzer's closest legislative allies yesterday criticized the governor's $124.3 billion budget as too much. "I think we're spending much too much and we have to look at ways to sort of attrition our expenses," Senate Democratic Minority Leader Malcolm Smith told reporters after addressing a statewide group of county officials.
Smith said Spitzer's budget, which increases overall spending by 5.1 percent, "is more than generous," particularly in light of a $4.4 billion deficit.
"I and my conference are still looking at other ways in which we can bring that number down a little bit," Smith said.
He said the state can find about a half a billion dollars in unused funds from the state's public authorities and another $600 million through attrition of non-essential jobs.
Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, addressing the county leaders after Smith, said Spitzer's budget "taxes too much, spends too much" and doesn't have its priorities straight.