Budget Provision Raises Worries About Cuomo’s Reach

Liz Krueger

January 20, 2012

By John Eligon

The New York Times

The proposed provision in the state budget, which still faces debate and a vote by the Legislature, would allow the governor to move money “for the purpose of planning, developing and/or implementing the consolidation of administration, business services, procurement, information technology and/or other functions shared among agencies.” Mr. Cuomo’s office argues that without this provision, the commission’s recommendations might be held up until next year’s budget process.

State Senator Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, said it made sense for the governor to have the flexibility to put in place changes recommended by the commission. However, Ms. Krueger said she was concerned by the scope of the provision, which says that operational funds may be transferred within an agency or to any other “state department, agency or public authority” with the approval of the state’s budget director, who works for Mr. Cuomo.

“I’m concerned that the language not be so open-ended as to permit school aid funds to be moved to the highway funds, or health care funds to be moved to prisons, without a legislative oversight process,” Ms. Krueger said.