This Senator is currently inactive, and this content is provided to you as an archive. To read content from your current Senator, please use our Senator lookup tool.

Should State Impose Permanent Cap on Spending?


Albany, N.Y.–New York State Senator George Winner (R-C-I, Elmira) is giving area residents the opportunity to share their views on one proposal under discussion as a way to effectively control future state spending: cap it.

Late last week New York Governor David Paterson renewed the push for a state spending cap by introducing specific legislation for the Legislature’s consideration.  The Paterson proposal mirrors, but doesn’t go as far as legislation Winner has co-sponsored – and the Senate has approved – in the past.

A 2010-2011 budget resolution approved by Senate Democratic leaders earlier this week, however, did not include a spending cap proposal.

“New York government’s number one challenge in the foreseeable future will be to meet fundamental responsibilities with less spending and smarter spending. A Constitutionally mandated spending cap is one way to force that action," said Winner.

Winner co-sponsored legislation approved by the Senate in 2008 – the last time that Republicans controlled that chamber -- to amend the New York State Constitution (S. 7134, approved by the Senate on March 12, 2008) and limit year-to-year state spending increases to 120 percent of the consumer price index (CPI) or 4 percent, whichever is less.  In any given year, 50 percent of state tax revenues exceeding the cap would be placed in a reserve fund, with the other half being returned to taxpayers in the form of direct rebates.

Winner said that if a similar cap had been in place over the past five years, state taxpayers would already have saved more than $13 billion.

The 2008 measure also contained a series of additional public accountability initiatives.

Share your opinion.