Gov. David Paterson is expected today to announce another two-week spending extender in order to keep New York State running, a day after Senate Dems released a statement where they describe how they would like to fix the "broken budget process."
"We have unprecedented financial problems in this period of our history than we've had before," said Paterson, who spoke
up in Albany. He went on to say he was bothered by the "excuses and distractions" from State legislatures.
Albany lawmakers returned from their long Passover-Easter break Friday but are not closer to a resolution to the $9 billion budget gap, or with finalizing the eight-day overdue budget.
And on Thursday, New York State Senate Democrats sent out a press release highlighting their plan to fix New York's budget.
Senator Krueger, Chair of the Select Committee on Budget & Tax Reform and Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee said, “If any year
demonstrates how fundamentally broken New York State’s budget process is, this is the year."
The release highlights their plans for fixing the problems by creating a non-partisan Legislative Budget Officem modeled after the
U.S. Congressional Budget Office, which "removes politics from revenue forecasting." They also would require the Executive to list a cost-benefit analysis of all New York's 380-plus tax break programs as a means of weeding out those that don't work and strengthening those that do.
The Majority is also developing legislation to force the Legislature to regularly review and amend the state’s tax breaks systems by
"enacting automatic sunsets phased in over five years (excluding programs with pre-existing sunsets)."
"With this legislation I’m saying the buck stops here," said Sen. Krueger, "because the State is getting too close to coming down to its last buck.”
Meanwhile, a state official said Thursday that Paterson won't include scheduled 4-percent raises for unionized public employees in a new emergency spending bill.
The emergency spending would take effect next week if the Legislature and governor have no agreement on a budget.
The administration official spoke on the condition of anonymity to the Associated Press because the action hasn't yet been announced.
Union leaders have rejected Paterson's requests for concessions to save the state money as it faces a $9.2 billion deficit in the continuing fiscal crisis.
Paterson had included $250 million in union concessions in his proposed 2010-11 budget, but so far has secured none.
The raises could be restored in an adopted budget or in subsequent emergency spending.