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Last week’s rush to slash $427 million from New York State’s budget in order to stave off a looming deficit hit a few roadblocks along the way thanks to a handful of Brooklyn legislators.
Officials said that four Brooklyn Assemblymembers and two State Senators from the borough voted no for the measure during the emergency session, which ordered cuts in member items, health care and CUNY.
One of the State Senators was so sternly against the proposed cuts that he took to the senate floor, claiming that the hack and slash tactic was nothing more than a band aid.
“We have to attack tax expenditures for corporations that are worth billions, close prisons and cut back on state expenditures,” explained Brooklyn Heights State Senator Martin Connor said in an interview after the vote. “Instead, we’re cutting things here and there as we have been obviously directed to by our leaders.”
“We were called back with this great sense of urgency, but this is not the way to make a budget,” he explained.
The other Brooklyn State Senator to vote against the revised budget was Flatbush legislator Kevin Parker.
Since both men are facing hotly contested primaries, political insiders wondered if the two were thinking more about their campaigns than balancing the state’s books.
Both Connor and Parker shot down the inferences, claiming that their decision had nothing to do with the races they are embroiled in back home.
“I’m more of an independent, so I stuck with what I wanted to see in a budget,” said Connor, a 30-year incumbent who is facing 28-year-old opponent Daniel Squadron for the 25th State Senate District.
Parker, who is facing a three-way primary against outgoing City Councilmembers Simcha Felder and Kendall Stewart said that he, to, was not thinking about how his decision would sway voters.
Rather, he told reporters that he would rather see a millionaire’s tax instead of cuts to health care.
“At the end of the day, we have to protect people,” he told the Daily News.
State Assemblymembers from Brooklyn who voted against the budget cuts included Karim Camara of Crown Heights, Hakeem Jefferies of Fort Greene and Rhoda Jacobs and Nick Perry, who both represent parts of Flatbush.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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