NYFirst: Budget Reform Legislation

When looking at the State of New York over the past 19 years, there is definitely one thing that is common over that period of time. That would have to be New York State’s late budget. For the 19th time, over the past same amount of years, New York State has had a budget that wasn’t on time. This has come to be a major problem over the years, and now the New York State Assembly Republicans’ have come up with supposed solution to the problem; This is the NYFirst set of reforms for better government, and one of them being Budget Reform. Budget Reform is a very political issue on both sides of the aisle, with one side caring more about other issues concerning the budget like trying to better it from the Governor’s proposal (The Democrats), than that of it being on time. The governor can play a big role as well. Both sides and their different points of views will be looked at regarding NYFirst‘s Budget Reform package, and therefore, both of their thoughts are going to be different about what to do, and what to worry about in the long run for the State of New York.

The Assembly Republicans in New York have a very sound view when it comes to the budget in this state, and that is basically that it should be on time every time. The proposed Republican plan for budget reform is all shown in the Assembly Bill #1258 which was introduced in 2003 (Assembly Bill#1258). The bill was introduced by Minority Leader Charlie Nesbitt, and all other 46 Republican members, is one which calls for change, and for the betterment of the entire process. This bill is a new bill, and has never been introduced in the Assembly yet. This NYFirst: Budget Reform package has seven reforms it wants to see happen. It calls for 1) Revenue forecasts by March 1st from all four legislative fiscal committees and the State Comptroller, 2) A binding forecast by March 10th will be imposed by the Comptroller if no agreement, 3) Conference committees by March 15th to discuss the budget publicly, 4) A Default budget if still not passed within 72 hours; the previous years budget goes into effect, 5) No non-budget bills after April 1st if not passed already, 6) Fiscal stability, and 7) Plain language summary of the hard to read budget (GOPoints April 1st). All of these reforms are set out to make the state run better, and more efficient.

The Assembly Republican minority truly thinks that these reforms would solve the late budget process, and finally stop all of the troubles late budgets do to the state as a whole. The Republicans’ say a late budget has a great dismal effect on New York, and its people. Three examples that could be used for this would be how it effects school districts, not-for-profit organizations, and local governments (Late Budgets and...3). These examples are ones, which present great evidence as to why the budget process should be passed on time. “Businesses can’t expand and invest in new jobs and schools are forced to ‘guess-timate’ how much money they have for programs,“ as stated by Charlie Nesbitt when talking about the impact of a late budget (Legislative Gazette 5). In a forum conducted by the Republican Assembly Minority Committee last year, numerous people from the for mentioned examples above were present to voice their opinion about the late budget. In one forum from Western New York, Robert W. Smith, Superintendent of Elba Central School District, stated that, “Last year’s extremely late budget made it impossible for Elba Central School District to accurately predict revenue or to set tax rates. The result was a tax rate too low to meet needs....” (Late Budgets...2). These statements along with others were all in favor of this Republican Assembly reform package. Another example that could be used as an example of how a late budget can effect in a negative way would be from a forum in Albany, by Marvin LeRoy, Jr., Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York. He said that, “In my personal experience as an individual running non-profit organizations