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January 24, 2006

State comptroller proposes 21 fiscal and budget reforms

State Comptroller Alan Hevesi has proposed 21 fiscal and budget reforms that he said would help New York produce better and more timely budgets.

The comptroller said his ideas are designed to help “to improve how the Legislature, the Executive and the public actually work together to design and implement the state’s budget.”

The state’s April 1 budget deadline gives the legislature too little time to consider the Governor’s budget proposal, which is released each year in January, Hevesi said. He also said the process has “little or no transparency” and offers the public too little information. And after the budget is passed, “it is difficult to monitor the state’s actual fiscal performance,” he said.

Legislators, the comptroller’s office, and taxpayers “do not have adequate access to the day-to-day or even month-to-month supporting data which details the state’s fiscal plan as the year progresses,” Hevesi said in a release. “States with more stringent oversight by multiple entities are more likely to have stronger finances and more responsible long-term planning in the development and enactment stages of the budget process.”

The comptroller’s plan, among other things, would:

The comptroller's release is at www.osc.state.ny.us/press/releases/jan06/012406.htm. His full report is at www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/budget/fiscalreform.pdf.