On Dec. 17, 2009, the Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform held a public hearing in Manhattan on improving transparency, forecasting and flexibilty in New York State's budget process. The Select Committee heard oral testimony from eight experts on state budgeting issues and received written testimony from two others.
Below are links for the written testimony some experts submitted to the Select Committee for the public hearing. The Select Committee's staff will issue a report detailing key findings and conclusions from information gathered during the event.
Once again, New York State finds itself in the midst of a fiscal crisis. While the economic downturn drove many of the state’s budgetary problems, they have been agitated severely by opaque and rushed fiscal planning procedures. To address these procedural deficiencies, the Legislature in 2007 passed a series of budget reforms. They required everything from the creation of joint conference committees to the itemization of member items in resolutions.
This week, New York State took strong legislative action that represents real progress toward economic recovery in both the short and long term.
Continued declining tax revenues left the state with an approximate $3 billion mid-year deficit, which needed immediate attention to ensure payments to school districts and local municipalities and to protect the state from a downgrade in credit rating.
New York’s finances have been front and center over the past several weeks. Every time you opened the newspaper or turned on the television or radio another story concerning the budget deficit was making headlines. Now after multiple special sessions in Albany a budget deal has been finalized. However, this won’t be the last time you hear about the state’s financial situation.
“I entirely agreed with the Governor that tough decisions had to be made. We had to take action to address the budget crisis before the state runs out of money, but in many ways, I was disappointed by the bill that was put on the floor.
(Albany, NY) – Today, the New York State Senate passed fiscally prudent legislation that will keep Information Technology (IT) jobs in-house rather than outsourcing, creating significant budgetary savings. By providing the necessary training and in-sourcing the state’s IT workforce, New York State ensures employees greater job security while increasing their skill set.
When I voted no on the 2009-10 State Budget which increased spending by $12 billion and raised taxes and fees by $8.5 billion, I said it was not merely an irresponsible budget but sheer lunacy. I warned the Democrat leadership that their out of control spending could not be sustained in this weak economy.