Raia Co-Sponsors Legislation to Increase Accountability and Transparency in the State Budget Process

January 23, 2007

Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,C,I,WF-East Northport) co-sponsored legislation passed by the Assembly today aimed to reform the state budget process. Raia and his Assembly minority colleagues have long fought for many of the provisions in this sweeping reform package, most notably the elimination of lump sum appropriations that include member items.

“It’s a good start to get these budget reforms passed. My colleagues in the minority conference have pushed for these measures in recent years and it is about time we had the opportunity to vote them through. This package will go a long way toward a more accountable and transparent budget,” said Raia.

The reform package includes the following:

  • Lump sum appropriations, including “member items,” will be itemized
  • The consensus revenue process will be expedited
  • The State Comptroller will be authorized to resolve disputes over revenue
  • The legislature will resolve budget bill disagreements through a referral to joint conference committee
  • The legislature will be statutorily required to enact a balanced budget
  • The legislature will be required to explain fiscal impacts of changes it makes to the governor's budget bills
  • "Quick start" budget discussions will be required each November, and quarterly meetings will be held thereafter between the executive and legislature
  • Creation of a new "rainy day" fund for a total of five percent. The fund can be used in the event of economic downturn or disaster.

“This is a good accomplishment, but there is much work to be done. Among my goals is a tax relief package that reflects Long Island’s specific regional needs, getting our fair share of education funding and improving the efficiency of our healthcare system,” concluded Raia.