This morning, Fred Dicker reported in the Post that Governor Andrew Cuomo is threatening to shut the government down unless lawmakers agree to a staggering $10 billion in budget cuts.
Today, outspoken Bronx state Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. is out with a release that seems unlikely to dial down the stand-off by accusing Cuomo of blackmail and again justifying his actions in the last session that nearly shut the government down.
“I am dismayed by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s public threat to shut down New York State’s government if we do not approve budget cuts that will most definitely hurt the poor, our children’s education, New York’s healthcare system, and our senior citizens.
I am disheartened that this story fills our newspapers today – on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – a day when we commemorate the efforts of America’s greatest defender of social justice.
When my colleagues and I once attempted to negotiate change in the Legislature to improve the lives and well-being of less advantaged New Yorkers, the Four Amigos were accused of black-mailing.
We weren’t, but it seems all too obvious to me that Governor Cuomo is blackmailing New York.
Nobody wants to shut the government down, but if Governor Cuomo really wants to shut down the State’s government because the Legislature will not vote to hurt needy New Yorkers, sick New Yorkers, students, senior citizens and families, then I call upon my Democratic colleagues in the State Senate to grant his wish.
I am not voting to vote for budget cuts that hurt anyone, nor will I be a victim of anyone’s blackmailing. I urge my colleagues to do the same.”
The Post notes that the first-ever shutdown would bring nearly all services except prisons, health-care institutions and the State Police to a halt and leave more than 100,000 state workers idle and without paychecks.