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