First Thoughts From Lawmakers: ‘It’s a Long Road,’ Says Kruger

ALBANY—A few reactions to David Paterson's budget from lawmakers as they were filing in to see him speak this morning

"None of this news is good," said Assemblyman Jeff Aubry of Queens. "I guess that all of the cuts and all of the reductions will have to be looked at as to whether they level the playing field and are fair, and whether the pain is shared across the board."

I asked him whether he thinks expanded sales taxes are regressive. "I've always supported an increase on income tax and the rates on individuals with higher incomes, I still think that's sound public policy," he said.

Jim Bacalles, whose central New York district includes many wineries, also has mixed feelings about the governor's proposals–one raises taxes on wine, but another would permit it to be sold in grocery stores.

"That's a proposal that's going to be interesting to look at," he said. "Obviously our grape growers want wine in grocery stores, but we don't know if the wineries want it or not."

State Senator Carl Kruger of Brooklyn was very concise: "It's a long road."

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will hold press conferences to react to the budget this afternoon. First Thoughts From Lawmakers: ‘It’s a Long Road,’ Says Kruger