Governor Paterson on the Late Budget

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

New York State has submitted the budget on time only six times since 1975, and this year is no exception. Governor David Paterson discusses the fiscal crisis; a new report from the state comptroller that indicates the budget problems may be much worse than officially reported; and other pressing matters.

Do you have a question for Governor Paterson? Post it below!


Governor David A. Paterson

Comments [33]

Tax on soft drinks from Manhattan

I heartily approve the tax on soft drinks for two reasons. 1st It is a good source of income for our budget deficit; 2nd It would lesson the problem of obeisity which affects many young people. The sugar content in a soft drink has the equavalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar. 3rd Many illnesses such as diabetes are due to excess sugar. Taxes are collected on candy, cranberry juice cocktail and other juices. Beer is taxed. Why should soft drinks be exempt? It makes sense to tax soft drinks.

Apr. 07 2010 04:11 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious "Hudson Heights"

Ah! Case loads of public defenders.
- Should there be a limit as to the number of cases that can be assigned to a public defender?
- Should there be a tax for all attorneys used to fund public defenders?
- Should there be a fair cap on the amount of money an attorney can receive from a settlement for their client in an non-criminal case?
- If a defendant loses a case, can they claim that their attorney was overloaded and was incapable of defending them properly?
- Should a public defender refuse cases that overwhelm them?
- Should the Bar Association work to limit case loads?
- There is a union for Interns and Residents to limit the number of hours they work - can an overworked physician provide high quality medical care - should there be a union for public defenders too?

Apr. 07 2010 03:16 PM
JP from NJ

If a public defender in a busy court system has a case load of 30 defendants, is he or she going to be able to give you the same amount of attention to your case that a private lawyer would have who can give all his attention to you along with a big support staff that an expensive private lawyer could have? How many lawyers did OJ have working for him at any one time? Did Johnny Cochran really do all the foot work himself to defend OJ? How many lawyers are helping you when you have a public defender? For the sake of argument, if OJ was just another black guy and say he was completely innocent (no matter anyone's opinion), do you really think one over worked busy public defender would have gotten him found innocent? Why do so many public defenders in busy court systems continuously complain about high case loads that they just cant keep up with?

Apr. 07 2010 02:04 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious "Hudson Heights"

"But I know the reality is that many times you need money to get justice…. "

It worked for OJ Simpson. I now see that Johnny Cochran was a great attorney representing an evil client.

How does money get you justice? Do you pay off the judge or jury? Does the Bar Association give stats on how successful an attorney is in winning a judgement in favor of their client? Can those stats be used by defendants in selecting an attorney to represent them?

Apr. 07 2010 01:05 PM
JP from NJ

Edward. The sad reality is that the Rockefeller laws and many similar laws in other states did cause the release of many rapists and other violent criminals to make room for mandatory drug sentences. Many of these drug offenders had no previous records of any kind. Their only crime was that they didn’t have enough money for a real lawyer and instead had to really on badly overwhelmed pubic defenders. I truly would like to believe that just is blind. But I know the reality is that many times you need money to get justice….

Apr. 07 2010 12:44 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious "Hudson Heights"

Ron, here is another point, is the reason that the majority of the prison population is male, is due to anti-male sexism?

Is it sexism, or behavior?

Apr. 07 2010 12:40 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious "Hudson Heights"

JP said...
"Would you rather let a rapist out of jail to make room for a pothead? "

No. I say incarcerate the rapist and turn him into a pothead. Potheads are generally not violent. Anyone driving a motor vehicle while under the influence, should be jailed - regardless of skin color Ron.

Apr. 07 2010 12:27 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious "Hudson Heights"

Ron, it is over the top racism to suggest that the main reason that the majority of the prison population is black/brown, is simply due to their skin color, and not due to their behavior.

I add that ANY person (that means regardless of skin color to the skin color/race obsessed AKA racists) who have been wrongly imprisoned, railroaded, and have been found INNOCENT, deserve big time compensation. I expect the criminal justice system to work fairly for all people, and if the CJS fails, it should pay restitution.

Apr. 07 2010 12:20 PM
JP from NJ

Edward, the war on drugs has been officially going on for more the 41 years. We spend more money on it then ever before and more people are dong drugs then ever. What do propose, spend more money on the war on drugs? Do mandatory house to house searches? Mandatory pedestrian street searches for all? Mandatory road block searches? More mandatory jail sentences that are filling our jails with non violent offenders? Would you rather let a rapist out of jail to make room for a pothead?

Apr. 07 2010 12:03 PM

Perhaps I should not take Edward seriously, but I do not use drugs of any kind. Despite studies which show that drug use and sale are roughly the same across race lines, those imprisoned are overwhelmingly black and brown - the new apartheid.

Apr. 07 2010 11:58 AM
JP from NJ

Catherine, I grew up in house that only had milk, orange juice and water in the frig. I liked and still do like milk. But what do you think I drank at work after school and when I went to the store on my own or in restaurants? Anything but milk, water and orange juice… Kids do only buy sugary drinks because there is nothing else to buy then sugary drinks that appeal to most kids…. This is nothing new. It was the same back in the 70’s and 80’s when I was a kid.

Apr. 07 2010 11:45 AM

It was disappointing that Gov. Paterson would not take the opportunity to advocate for drug decriminalization. He likely has no political future; the country incarcerates more of its citizens than any other western democracy by a wide margin; the war on drugs has been both ineffectual and devastating; and our criminal justice system enforces the new apartheid.

Apr. 07 2010 11:41 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious "Hudson Heights"

Years ago breakfast cereals were FULL of sugar. Remember "Sugar Frosted Flakes", "Sugar Pops" and the jingle "Sugar Pops are Tops"?

I believe that today cereals have less sugar than they did in the '60s (or am I wrong?) and todays cereals are as popular as they were in the '60s?

Apr. 07 2010 11:40 AM

please, don't assume that kids will only buy sugary drinks. it is simply untrue. give them a little credit - and put "credit" where credit is due - the reason they drink crap has to do with what their parents give them and what they see in ads. Yes, kids love sugar, but when I was a kid, I loved drinking regular milk, as do a lot of kids.

Apr. 07 2010 11:31 AM
Neil Aronowitz from riverdale

What is the status of student metro cards? We live in the Bronx - our children rely on the metro cards to go to Stuyvesant High School

Apr. 07 2010 11:25 AM
Christina from Manhattan

I thought there was a Medicaid Fix worked out for NY in the House bill. Isn't this true?

Apr. 07 2010 11:24 AM
peter from Astoria Queens

Gov Paterson, I know that we need that federal race to the top money, which would require raising the charter cap, but i never hear you or any other politician addressing strong concerns from academics that charters are very bad for our students, i.e. teaching them to be professional test takers for tests that don't actually measure intelligence or ability. Don't you think you're letting the business crowd have a little too much sway over our school systems?

Apr. 07 2010 11:21 AM
Bob from scarsdale

NY does not have an inheritance tax and has repealed their estate tax as of 2005.

Apr. 07 2010 11:20 AM
Stuart from nyc

SODA TAX - no way. this can be compared to the tax on cigarettes. Is the tax on cigarettes really being used to educate consumers on the hazards of smoking? How many smokers have quit? How many smokers have gone for the free nicotine patches? Wasn't it a waste of tax dollars to pay for all those ads offering the patches?

Consequently, will consumers become less obese if soda is taxed?

Apr. 07 2010 11:20 AM
Andrew from NYC

Can the Governor please comment on the appeals court ruling which found the law which states that repeat offenders should be sentenced more harshly is unconstitutional? He has always been an advocate for fairness, will he help any bills in the legislature that have to do with prisoner's rights?

Apr. 07 2010 11:20 AM
Mary from NYC

Tax Refunds - how is the State paying those if we have no money? Any coincidence that more people than ever are getting audited?? So many people are getting audited that Citibank actually will not charge you for copies of your checks if it is for a NYS audit. Hmmm

Apr. 07 2010 11:19 AM
Melissa from Manhattan

Is there any way that the state can get additional funding from the federal government to save section 8 rental vouchers? Following one of the worst recessions, this seems like the worst time to loose rental assistance for vulnerable families

Apr. 07 2010 11:18 AM
joshua from brooklyn

unless its been repealed since 1993, nys does have an estate tax. a big one.

Apr. 07 2010 11:18 AM

Can someone tell me why this guy is so unpopular? To me, he always talks sense.

Apr. 07 2010 11:17 AM
Lem from NYC

What is the Governor doing to shrink the state budget by reducing the size of government?

Apr. 07 2010 11:17 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious "Hudson Heights"

Just a comment, I LOVE Gov. Patterson. I am so angry that so many people are against him, - from President Obama to SNL, to several NYC newspapers trying to smear him, just so Andrew Cuomo can run.

Gov. Patterson, stay STRONG, be WELL, and serve your FULL TERM. NEVER give up.

Apr. 07 2010 11:17 AM
Betty Anne from UES

What will he be doing for gay marriage before the end of his term?

Apr. 07 2010 11:16 AM
Daniel from Beacon, NY

What is the condition in closing state parks? What happens to them?

Apr. 07 2010 11:10 AM
JP from NJ

Governor and Brian, kids are not going to buy milk at a bodega unless it has chocolate in it. All fruit juices, concentrated or not, organic or not, are high in sugar content with next to no nutritional value. Bottle water is not good for the environment and water purification for bottled water is unregulated plus you’re already taxing that. Realistically what drinks are there that are sold anywhere that kids will buy on their own that’s not full of sugar? V-8 juice?

Apr. 07 2010 11:08 AM
Anthony Russo from white plains

What is the status of the wine in supermkts bill

Apr. 07 2010 11:05 AM

Is it true there's no inheritance tax in NYS? What about imposing that?

Apr. 07 2010 10:49 AM
daniel from Brooklyn

Governor Patterson, will you sign the medical marijuana bill that's working its way through the legislature (it passed committee and codes already). The patients of New York are patiently waiting to know. Thanks, Daniel Danko

Apr. 07 2010 10:47 AM
JC from NYC

The proposed tax on sugared drinks seems like a very good idea but has gotten very little support. Why specifically? What are the pros and cons of the proposed leglisation specifically? How can supporters of the legislation advocate for the proposal more effectively?

Apr. 07 2010 10:27 AM

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