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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Tue, Nov 18, 2008

Thousands Rally Against Budget Cuts

Steve Ference, News 10 Now

ALBANY, N.Y. -- They came from all over the state, thousands deeply concerned about deep proposed cuts to the state budget.

Protestor Andrea McKitty said, "I'm in support of housing. I'm in a mental health program. I'm poor. I need medical attention."

While lawmakers were inside the Capitol Tuesday debating what to do about New York's fiscal crisis, a number of organizations rallied outside to make a case for funding - or risk having the rug pulled out from under them.

Andrea McKitty said she needs $600 worth of medication each month. With potential cuts to housing or health care, she said she'd have to cut food from her budget.

"So I will lose a lot of weight, I guess," she said.

NYC Human Services Council Exec. Dir. Michael Stoller said, "These services do not merely enhance the quality of life. They are a lifeline for these people."

This, as leaders from hundreds of organizations representing hundreds of thousands of people all agree cuts are necessary - but not to their cause.

"Our children must not take a second place to raising revenues in this state," said Campaign for Fiscal Equity Exec. Dir. Geri Palast. "The budget must not be balanced on their backs."

Bottom line, folks rallying at the Capitol say the solution is basically three-fold. Raise the taxes on the rich. Use the Rainy Day Fund to make up budget shortfalls now. Make cuts, just not to any program or organization speaking out on Tuesday.

NYSUT President Ianuzzi said, "The only way we'll be able to resolve this is not looking at working people but looking at revenue side."

Organizers say they're measuring their success by how much doesn't get cut.

New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness Exec. Dir. Ron Deutsch said, "They need more time for deliberation."

McKitty said, "Fear, because some of my medications are very expensive, but they're also life saving."

As New Yorkers like McKitty watch, and wait.


Parents from across the state march on the Capitol in Albany to show support for CFE.
CFE Litigation CFE v. State of New York
In 2006, after 13 years in the Courts, the New York State Court of Appeals affirmed the right of every public school student in New York to the opportunity for a sound basic education and the state’s responsibility to adequately fund this right, but deferred to the Governor and the Legislature to determine the appropriate amount. more >