Statement on Assembly's Debt Vote from Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor (R,C,I - Fishkill)

"This was a vote to ratify gimmicky and dishonest backdoor borrowing. The state constitution requires voters to approve new debt, but Albany has flaunted that requirement for years. Albany gets around the constitution by issuing debt through public authorities. Ninety-four percent of state-funded debt is issued through public authorities without voter approval.

"Without any constitutional restraints, our debt spending has grown almost twice as fast as education and Medicaid spending. New York ranks fifth among states in per capita debt. That's what happens when politicians find gimmicks to bypass constitutional restraints on spending. Politicians just can't help themselves, because they think they're playing with house money. They're not. It's taxpayer dollars, and the spending has real consequences. Taxpayers would never have approved such out-of-control borrowing.

"Backdoor borrowing is dishonest, and it isn't fooling anyone. Voters know that the governor and the legislature are responsible for our runaway debt. The dishonesty needs to end now. I voted no today because we need to follow the law and give New York's taxpayers a chance to vote on Albany's debt spending."