It seems like common sense to many of us in New York government: The first step toward fundamentally changing the way Albany does business is to limit state government's ability to spend taxpayer money.
But we've known for a long time that New York State has a spending problem. It's nothing new. Government critics have been saying it for years and, believe me, there's plenty of credit to go around for who's responsible.
But assessing blame isn't the point anymore. The only thing that matters now is what are Albany's leaders going to do about it? What are they doing to stop it? Because the time has clearly come to stop it.
Unfortunately, so far, the only action they've taken was to again increase spending, by billions of dollars, in the 2009-2010 state budget.
That's not the answer we're looking for. In March 2008, the state Senate approved legislation I co-sponsored to put a permanent, constitutionally mandated cap on state spending. If a similar cap had been in place over the past five years, state taxpayers would have been saved more than $13 billion.
It's time to put a cap on New York government spending.