Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R, C, I-Greece) today joined his Assembly Minority colleagues in voting for the passage of legislation designed to reform the state budget process by making it timely, more transparent and accountable.
“The passage of today’s legislation is long overdue and comes years after my Assembly Minority colleagues and I first began the fight to fix the dysfunction in the state budget process,” remarked Reilich. “I am pleased that we are finally starting to reform the way Albany operates.”
Many of the initiatives included today are measures that the conference had introduced and has supported for several years. Some of those measures include: the authorization of the State Comptroller to resolve disputes over state revenue forecasting, the use of conference committees to facilitate agreements on budget bills, and itemization of member items and other funds within all budget bills.
Additional highlights in the budget reform legislation include:
- Additional disclosure of Executive receipts, disbursements and transfers
- Estimates of the fiscal impact of the Executive budget on local governments, the General Fund and the state workforce
- Establishment of a “Rainy Day” Reserve Fund, to be used in the event of economic downturn or in response to a catastrophic event.
“While I am pleased that we passed budget reform legislation today, I take issue with the fact that the Assembly Minority and Senate Minority were not partners in the legislative process,” remarked Reilich. “Leaving the rest of the legislative body out in the cold gives the impression that the ‘three men in a room’ politics of Albany will continue during the Spitzer Administration.”
“Day one has come and gone, but dysfunction still remains in Albany,” added Reilich.