While our economy is never static, we always tend to believe that prosperity is bound to continue when we are living in periods of robust growth. Today, however, we must confront our greatest economic challenge since Franklin D. Roosevelt was President. We know that state budgets must be balanced. Unlike the federal government, New York cannot spend more than it takes in. What, then, can New York State do to best help its people? To begin with, New York must pass its budgets on time. When New York’s budgets are late, our schools, hospitals and not-for-profits cannot prepare their own budgets because they simply don’t know the amount of state funding they will receive. We all know that it will take years to recover from the current recession and that the funds New York will be able to spend on essential services will be less than we would like. That is our reality. But Chuck believes that there is no reason that New York cannot prepare, pass and enact its budget on time. In 2004, when Chuck and other like-minded Assembly reformers were first elected, New York State had failed to produce an on-time budget for 20 years in a row. Understanding that late budgets contributed to dysfunction, the reformers fought for and secured timely budgets from 2005-2009. In 5 of the 6 years that Chuck has been in the legislature, New York delivered on time budgets. But in 2010, our budget was more than 4 months late due to chaos in the State Senate and a governor preoccupied with his own personal problems. New York can and will produce jobs when we reform the way we invest state economic development dollars. Countless millions have been wasted on empire zone projects and industrial development schemes that have failed to produce jobs. An increase in employment must be the most important factor in determining how and where our economic development dollars should be invested. Chuck looks forward to working with a new governor who will pursue the badly needed reforms that are necessary to make sure that New York State grows its workforce and its economy.