The New York State Senate has unveiled it's annual budget proposal and its prevailing message is "No New Taxes." The Senate refused to tax soft drinks, or to raise the tax on cigarettes, as Governor David Paterson has proposed.
"And it rejects--rejects--use of any new taxes to close the budget gap," John Sampson, the New York Senate Democratic Conference Leader, told WNYC. "Let me say that again: We rejected $1.1 billion in new taxes."
The Senate also rejected the governor's proposal to allow the sale of wine in grocery stores. But its plan does include many of the governor's proposed cuts, including a $1.4 billion reduction in school aid and cuts to student aid for college students. Legalizing medical marijuana is also included in the Senate's proposal.
New York Assembly leaders are expected to release their spending plan later this week. The state budget deadline is April 1.