Contact: Phil Oliva, (518) 455-3756 or (518) 727-1802
For Immediate Release:
Sunday, February 12, 2006

Tedisco Calls for Convening of Budget Conference Committees
Assembly Minority Leader announces his team of conferees to "jumpstart" process

Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady, Saratoga) today called for the immediate convening of the Budget Conference Committees that were so successful in making last year's state budget the first to meet the April 1st deadline in 20 years.

"We saw last year that when you put both parties and both houses in the same room in full public view to work together to pass an on-time budget, it can be done. What my conference is saying is, why wait to start a process that's been proven to work?" said Tedisco. "We are ready to go."

Tedisco announced his conference's budget committee appointments:

Hon. James Hayes (R-Amherst) Education
Hon. James Bacalles (R-Corning) Health
Hon. Chris Ortloff (R-Plattsburgh) Higher Education
Hon. Tom Alfano (R-North Valley Stream) Human Services
Hon. Dan Burling (R-Warsaw) General Government/Local Assistance
Hon. Nancy Calhoun (R-Washingtonville) Mental Hygiene
Hon. Dierdre Scozzafava (R-Gouverneur) Public Protection/Criminal Justice/Judiciary
Hon. Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) Economic Development
Hon. Pat Manning (R-Hopewell Junction) Transportation
Hon. James Conte (R-Huntington Station) Agriculture/Environmental/Housing

Tedisco has long been a champion of budget reform, each year proposing new and innovative solutions to improve the state budget process and ensure an on-time state budget each and every year.

Tedisco said that school districts, local governments and non-profits feel the pain most directly from late budgets but that they aren't the only ones.

"They feel it perhaps most directly in that it hinders their own budget planning abilities and it requires them to sometimes incur debt, but all taxpayers ultimately share in the pain whether they know it or not," said Tedisco.

Two weeks ago Assembly Minority members unveiled a digital clock just outside the Assembly Chamber that is counting down the days, hours and minutes to the April 1st deadline. They also unveiled a new package of budget reforms that include the following:

  • State Comptroller intervention with a binding revenue estimate if a consensus is not reached by March 10th.

  • Increase the Tax Stabilization Reserve Fund.

  • Provide a plain-language summary of the budget 48 hours prior to a vote.

  • If a new budget is not yet in place, enact the previous year's budget no later than 72 hours after the start of a new fiscal year.

  • Prohibit consideration of non-budget bills after April 1st until the budget is adopted.

  • Require two-year education funding.

  • Prohibit any legislative recess until a late budget is approved.

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