Hawley weighs in on 'the good, the bad and the ugly' aspects of budget extentions
Submitted by Billie Owens on June 16, 2010 - 3:00pm
Assemblyman Steve Hawley issued the following news release today after Albany passed its 11th "budget extender."
“After two and half months, and 11 emergency budget extenders, New Yorkers are still without a state budget. In that time, we’ve seen our schools, local governments, contractors, state parks, and small businesses left in jeopardy as their fates have been left in the hands of weekly budget extenders.
"Although the ‘good’ that has come out of these extenders includes the reopening of state parks, some contractual obligations being met, school districts receiving their state aid, and other essential state services remaining open, the ‘good’ has without a doubt come with plenty of ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’ costs.
“The bad consists of the simple fact that since April 1, the more than $9 billion budget gap has hardly been addressed. Instead, the most recent extenders have raised fees by nearly $4 million, raided $80 million from the Environmental Protection Fund, and introduced ‘savings,' rather than make the real cuts that are needed.
Additionally, this process does not allow schools, local governments, and businesses with state contracts to formulate their own budgets. Even uglier, because of the lack of a transparent budget process, the ‘three men in a room’ may close these budget shortfalls with more taxes, more state borrowing, and even more of the special-interest-driven backroom deals that put our state in this fiscal crisis to begin with.
“These budget extenders are simply laying the framework for another over-bloated state budget to be passed through a piecemeal process. I again voted against the budget extenders and ask that my colleagues in the Assembly and Senate majorities open up the budget process, allow needed input from rank-and-file members, and see to it that it is passed immediately.”