March 30, 2009

Paterson, Smith & Silver Stick It To Upstate

Well, there are many who live north and west of the Tappan Zee Bridge who voted to shift all power in New York State to NYC Dems. And you're going to get exactly what you deserve. This story from the New York Times articulates just how screwed we all are now. If we haven't had a mass exodus before, get ready for one now.

Concluding the most secretive budget negotiations in recent memory, Gov. David Paterson and leaders of the Legislature outlined a $131.8 billion agreement on Sunday that would close the state’s gaping deficit with billions of dollars in new taxes, financing from the federal stimulus and a substantial slowdown in the growth of health care spending.

The final days of negotiations between Mr. Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith have been conducted under a veil of secrecy so profound that even well-seasoned Albany cynics were taken aback.

And despite the enormous fiscal pressure the state faces, the budget contains $170 million in financing for pet projects — an amount unchanged from last year — suggesting that Albany’s appetite for with what critics call pork-barrel spending appeared to be undiminished.

Listed in the budget were grants to gun clubs, an upstate museum dedicated to bricks and brick-making, the Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta and an organization known as the Urban Yoga Foundation.

With the stimulus money and other federal grants, total spending would rise over the next year by $10.5 billion, or 8.7 percent, a major expansion, though the state’s direct spending, which excludes federal funds, would rise by about $3.3 billion, higher than the rate of inflation.

The rest of the story appears here.

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