Senator Andrew Lanza Announces Historic Budget Reform Package

Andrew J Lanza

January 22, 2007

A comprehensive budget reform package introduced in the Senate today is the first step towards increasing transparency and accountability in the budget process. The package includes legislation requiring that every dollar spent in the State budget be lined out, a constitutional amendment ensuring that the Executive Budget addresses only fiscal matters, and a bill that would improve timeliness, reduce deficits and close budget gaps.

Senator Andrew Lanza (R - Staten Island) said, "As a new member of the Legislature I am proud to be a part of this historic change to the budget process. The people of New York deserve transparency, accountability, and fiscal integrity...and they deserve it in a timely manner."

The Senate’s line item budget reform bill would eliminate the practice of including lump sum appropriations in the budget for spending by the Governor, the Legislature, the Judiciary, State agencies and public authorities. "Under this reform bill there is no lump sum spending," Senator Lanza said. "Every dollar in state spending would be accounted for and every dollar would be clearly lined out for public review.

The Senate will also give second passage to a constitutional amendment (S.3195), passed by both houses in 2005, that would ensure that the Executive Budget submitted by the Governor could be acted upon by the Legislature to ensure an appropriate balance of power. Currently, the Governor is able to submit an Executive Budget which unilaterally changes the law without providing the Legislature an opportunity to either amend or reject those changes.

The Senate will also introduce legislation that would improve timeliness and enhance transparency and accountability in the state budget process, as well as control spending and reduce deficits and budget gaps. The legislation, (S.8414/A.11995), was passed by both houses in 2006, but vetoed by the Governor.

"The people of Staten Island deserve transparency and accountability in government, and I look forward to approving a budget process that will deliver this to them in a timely manner."