Galef Bills to Change State Budget Process

May 22, 2007

State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef is sponsoring two bills calling for an institutional change in the state budget process. One bill will alter the fiscal year to run from May 1st through April 30th and the second bill will require the state to revert to the prior year’s budget if the new deadline is not met and will require a constitutional amendment.

Galef explained that by changing the fiscal year from its present April 1st deadline to a May 1st date, it assures sufficient time to gather high-quality revenue data, and is more in line with what other states are doing.

Galef states, “Realistically speaking, we need more time to know the first quarter tax revenue figures on which forecasts are based and April 1st is just too soon. The current April 1st deadline is a throwback to the early 1900’s when legislators were in Albany just three months a year and ended their session in time to go back and farm their land.”

The Assemblywoman contends that the threat of using the last year’s budget will be an unattractive alternative for both legislators and the executive branch and will encourage serious, timely talks that result in an on-time budget.

Galef adds, “We had just such a system when I was a county legislator and it worked because we always met our fiscal cut-off and enacted an on-time budget year after year. The state can do the same with these bills that I am sponsoring to make the entire budget process more professional and logical.”

For more information on the bills, contact the Assemblywoman’s office at 914-941-1111.