October 21, 2009. Testimony presented by Frank Mauro, Executive Director of FPI, and Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. Mauro and Deutsch discussed why $1.8 billion of the $3 billion in deficit reduction actions proposed by Governor Paterson for the current state fiscal year would harm the still-fragile state economy. The Governor’s other $1.2 billion in gap-closing recommendations together with additional actions that will not hurt the state economy should be used to ensure that the state ends the current fiscal year in balance. Changes in law that would affect the state’s finances and its economy on an ongoing basis should be reviewed in a thorough and well-informed manner as part of the Legislature’s consideration of the Governor’s 2010-2011 Executive Budget – with all options on the table, including the budget-balancing alternatives recommended by Mauro and Deutsch in this testimony.