With one month left before the April 1st budget deadline, Governor

    Paterson should call a five-way public leaders meeting to begin an open

    process to get a budget done on time.


    The state’s budget reform law* spells out an open, transparent and

    inclusive budget process to achieve an on-time budget.  Today, Speaker

    Silver and Senator Sampson are required to reach agreement with the

    Governor on projected revenues, or the Comptroller determines a revenue



    Also under the law, Silver and Sampson should have agreed on a

    schedule for passage of one-house budget plans and joint budget conference

    committees, within 10 days of the Executive budget submission. That day

    came and went more than a month ago.


    What the people of this state do not need is a repeat of last year’s

    budget process when Democrats ignored the budget reform law, rejected calls

    for openness and transparency, said they didn’t need Republicans to pass a

    budget, and developed a disastrous plan for massive spending and tax hikes

    in total secrecy.  A bad process lead to a bad result and taxpayers cannot

    afford that to happen again.


    Governor Paterson should bring the legislative leaders together

    tomorrow or no later than Wednesday to discuss their budget priorities in

    public and start a process that will help us answer the state’s serious

    budget issues in a timely fashion.




    * Article 3, section 54a of the legislative law