Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Message from Elliot

The positive change that we sought during the campaign is beginning to percolate in Albany. Just yesterday, we announced fundamental reforms to our state's workers' compensation system. This comprehensive and balanced agreement will raise benefits for injured employees while significantly reducing the costs to businesses over time--and will clear one of the biggest obstacles to economic growth upstate. Developed in cooperation with both business and labor leaders, this is a landmark achievement that demonstrates what is possible when narrow self-interest is put aside and the best interests of New Yorkers as a whole are put first.

And over the past weeks, we have seen ethics and budget reform embraced after seemingly insurmountable opposition. These successes are important to remember in the coming weeks as the budget process continues.

I have been traveling across New York State to bring my proposed budget directly to the people and explain how they stand to benefit from its reforms. As you know, passing this budget is critical, because it finally breaks a long cycle of insider deals and special favors in the State Capitol. This budget is designed to address the priorities and needs of real New Yorkers, rather than line the pockets of entrenched special interests.

Not surprisingly, those very same special interests are determined to stop the budget in its tracks--and they are spending $15 million of insider money to do so. Through a lavishly funded advertising campaign, they, too, have gone directly to the people.

If they succeed, New Yorkers will remain stuck with a broken and inefficient system that puts the well-being of institutions before the well-being of individual citizens. This system epitomizes the wasteful spending and lack of accountability that have been hallmarks of Albany culture for far too long. It is a system that we can no longer afford, and this budget is our best opportunity to fix it once and for all.

Today, we went on air with a television ad to ensure that the public hears the truth. By being supportive now, you will help keep this message on the air.

This is your chance to take a stand--to insist that Albany clean up its act and do what is right. It is an investment in a sound future for our state. As we demonstrated yesterday, when we make the needs of New Yorkers our top priority, we can achieve great things.



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