What's New

Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

January 30, 2004

Assembly Democrats propose reforms to state budget process

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has proposed broad reforms for New York's budget process, including requiring public authorities to submit their budget information to the legislature for review, moving all off-budget spending under the state's Health Care Reform Act (HCRA) onto the state budget, and increasing by 5 percent the money that goes to the state's rainy-day fund.

The Senate Majority passed a similar budget reform package on January 20 that included some of the same proposals.

At a Jan. 27 press conference, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno praised the Assembly Democrats for addressing the budget issue. But Bruno also described as "troublesome" the Assembly's proposal to require some public authorities to submit their budgets to lawmakers.

"We can reconcile whatever differences there are," Bruno told the Albany Times-Union. "We must stay focused on the budget process and not other issues unrelated to the budget process itself."

In addition to new disclosure policies, the Assembly plan would also:

"We're glad to see the legislative leadership taking positive steps towards reforming our budget process," said Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh. "We hope that both sides of the aisle can maintain the momentum for reform this year."