State Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R,C,I-Greece) today praised members of a joint Senate-Assembly conference committee for agreeing on a plan to bring about meaningful budget reform. The agreement comes as New York undergoes its 20th consecutive year without a state budget in place by the April 1 constitutional deadline.
"I applaud the action by the committee," Reilich said. "This agreement by the committee paves the way toward eliminating the problem of constant late budgets in New York state."
The plan unanimously adopted by the 10-member joint conference committee incorporates several aspects of the longstanding Assembly Minority budget reform proposal: requiring an earlier start to the process, opening the process to public scrutiny, and carrying over the prior year’s budget if a new spending plan has not been passed by the deadline.
The joint Senate-Assembly conference committee budget reform plan calls for:
- Enacting the previous year’s budget if an agreement has not been reached by the statutory deadline
- Requiring the governor to submit an executive budget by Jan. 15 each year, or Feb. 1 in gubernatorial election years
- Providing 21 days for the governor to amend the executive budget rather than the current 30 days
- Creating additional reserve funds, beyond the Tax Stabilization Reserve Fund (TSRF), for contingency reserve, ensuing school aid payments, all reserve funds subject to strict repayment provisions of TSRF, and all reserve funds subject to strict statutory change requirement of TSRF
- Moving the start of the fiscal year from April 1 to May 1
- Requiring approval of state aid for schools two years in advance rather than annually
- Moving health care spending under the Health Care Reform Act "on budget"
- Providing a three-year financial plan with additional details
- Additional financial plan reporting for cash flow, personnel, technology purchases, journal voucher transactions and disbursement of lump sums
- Submitting the current services budget with the executive budget.