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Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

January 24, 2004

Think-tank: Governor's budget grows spending at about twice the rate of inflation

Governor George Pataki's 2004-05 budget grows spending at about twice the rate of inflation, according to an analysis by the Manhattan Institute.

"And in all probability, the Legislature will add even more to this amount before the budget is finally adopted," the report said. The report was written by E.J. McMahon Jr., a senior fellow with the Institute.

The Governor's spending proposal was inflated by some unusual factors, including an extra payroll cycle. But even after the budget is adjusted to nullify those factors, proposed spending of state funds would still be 4.2 percent, or $2.5 billion, more than last year, according to the report.

"Spending growth in the neighborhood of 4.2 percent to 5.5 percent is more on a par with the budget proposals Pataki introduced in 2000 and 2001, when the economy was red-hot and the state was amassing huge surpluses," the report said.

The full report is at www.nyfiscalwatch.com.