Wednesday, February 14, 2007

An Email from Eliot Spitzer

I received this email from Eliot Spitzer...thought I'd share it with you all...andy

Dear Andy :
On January 31st, I introduced my roadmap for revitalizing our economy and bringing opportunity back to New York State. The budget I proposed will not raise your taxes, yet it will fundamentally change the way we provide health care, the way we educate our children, and the way we encourage homeownership here in New York. And it will do all this while adhering to sound economic principles and fiscal responsibility.
Changing the way we deliver health care to the people of New York is imperative, because we can no longer afford to support a system driven by inefficient institutional spending. New York leads the nation in Medicaid spending, yet we still have 2.6 million people uninsured, 400,000 of them children. We are also first in the nation in the percentage of deaths due to chronic disease. 1 in 4 New York children is obese and 1 in 12 has asthma. My budget puts patients first. It provides universal access to health care for all uninsured children, and funds important public health programs to reduce the rates of chronic disease, while cutting the growth of Medicaid spending from 8.0% to 1.7%.
New York also spends more on education than every state but one in the U.S. -- yet we have the second lowest graduation rate in the country. I vow to change this. My budget injects record levels of investment into New York's educational system, while insisting on reform, responsibility, and accountability in our schools.
Our property taxes are the highest in the nation, and they discourage the citizens of New York from buying homes and revitalizing their communities. My budget calls for a $6 billion property tax cut concentrated on those middle class taxpayers who need it most.
Responsible fiscal management must be a priority for our legislators as they move forward to implement these changes. Our $120.6 billion plan does not raise taxes; instead, it saves our state money. Our comprehensive savings plan to reduce spending growth will provide $2.8 billion in savings, while the elimination of tax loopholes and shelters will bring an additional $449 million into the budget. And, to plan for the future, we've maintained $3 billion in reserves, and deposited funds into the Debt Reduction Reserve and a new Rainy Day Reserve.
None of this, though, can be accomplished without your support. That's why I'm traveling across our state to "Bring the Budget Home." Mark and Maria Rando of Union welcomed me into their home in Broome County on Thursday, where we discussed how the property tax relief plan in the budget would significantly reduce their taxes over the next three years, and would help their neighbors, the Obuseks, move into a larger home. In Syracuse, I met with Tim Pasto, a high school teacher and member of the Air National Guard, who was particularly interested in my plans to increase education spending. This week, I am visiting Westchester County, Buffalo, and Rochester.
This budget and the changes it will implement--better education for our children, improved health care for all New Yorkers, and property tax relief that encourages our communities to grow--will affect all of us, and
I want to hear what you and your neighbors have to say about the budget and our plans.
You've already been instrumental in effecting change for our state. On February 6, voters on Long Island elected Craig Johnson to serve in the State Senate, sending a clear message to Albany that they would not accept the status quo. For the first time in a hundred years, a Democrat will represent the people of the 7th Senate District, a Democrat who won the trust of the voters by pledging to help pursue our common goals of lower property taxes, health care for every child, and, most importantly, integrity and transparency in government.
During the campaign, I promised that change wouldn't come easily, but that I was prepared to stand up for the reforms we so desperately need. I wake up every day energized to do the job you elected me to do, but I can't do it without your continued involvement, your voices, your active participation and support. Please share this email with your friends, family, and colleagues, and encourage them too to
share with me their vision for One New York. I need your help as we fight together to ensure a prosperous future for our great state.
With best regards,

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