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DiNapoli Re-introduces Package of Budget Reforms

By Dave Lucas


Albany, NY – New York State's Comptroller is pushing a batch of budget reform measures ... Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Last year Tom DiNapoli issued a batch of budget reform proposals that never saw light of day - but now that Andrew Cuomo is Governor and the tapestry of decades-old New York politics seems to be unraveling in a new era of "transparency," the Comptroller is bringing his reforms back before the public eye. DiNapoli's plan includes statutory changes, Constitutional amendments and controls contained in bond covenants that he says would address long-standing deficiencies in the state's budget process. Tom Nitido, DiNapoli's Deputy Comptroller for Budget Policy and Analysis, says the proposals include a requirement that the governor have a gap-closing plan for out-year deficits and that there be open budget negotiations. Frank Mauro, Executive Director of the non-profit Fiscal Policy Institute, thinks the Comptrollers package of proposals has a lot of interesting components to it, while other observers feel DiNapoli is standing in the safety of the Governor's shadow, reflecting Cuomo's dismay with the traditional state budget process and its "fiscal gimmickry" --- Comptroller DiNapoli first tested the waters with his batch of budget proposals in March 2010 - none of them were taken up at the time. Tom Nitido says the proposals are now in the hands of the state legislature for their consideration.