In Recognition of ‘Sunshine Week’ Resolution, Hoylman Blasts Albany’s Flawed Budget Process

Urges creation of independent, nonpartisan entity to review and score budget bills

Hoylman: Democracy dies in the dark, and our budget process is deeply flawed and deep in the dark. I hope we can do better and this is a good moment to redouble our efforts.”

Members are frustrated that we are learning more about the budget process from twitter or from lobbyists in the hallway than from our own colleagues.”

NEW YORK – State Senator Brad Hoylman (D, WF-Manhattan) took to the NYS Senate floor today to speak on his resolution commemorating Sunshine Week, an annual event that occurs from March 12 to 18 to educate the public about the importance of government transparency. In his remarks, Senator Hoylman blasted Albany’s notoriously opaque budget process and called on the Senate to create an independent, nonpartisan entity to analyze budget bills. Video of the remarks can be found here.

“The New York State budget is $152 billion of taxpayer money and we give only two months attention to it. Senators sit here waiting for budget bills to drop out of the sky; we are given little time to review them and are forced to pass them in the dead of night. You have to ask, how does this exemplify government transparency or support sunshine week?”

Hoylman continued: “Members are frustrated that we are learning more about the budget process from twitter or from lobbyists in the hallway than from our own colleagues.”

During his remarks, Hoylman urged his colleagues to create a new entity with the ability to analyze and score Senate budget bills, similar to the federal Congressional Budget Office and California’s Legislative Analyst Office.

“We could, as a legislature, devote resources to an independent, nonpartisan entity that could review and score budget bills,” Hoylman continued. “Congress has done that and we can do the same thing here. In honor of Sunshine Week, I hope that in future years this chamber will look at ways to reform our budget process to bring more transparency, let the public know what we’re doing, and to share information among our colleagues first, before the lobbyists outside.”

Hoylman concluded: “Democracy dies in the dark, and our budget process is deeply flawed and deep in the dark. I hope we can do better and this is a good moment to redouble our efforts.”

Watch Hoylman’s full remarks here.