Monday, June 14, 2010

Shutdown Avoided For Now

The state legislature punted the state's fiscal situation down the road for another week.

They passed a budget extender, avoiding the shutdown of government operations.
New York's Senate voted to avert an unprecedented shutdown of state government Monday night, ending the latest scare in a two-year-old fiscal crisis and with a state budget now more than 10 weeks overdue.

The Democrat-led Assembly was expected to pass the emergency spending bill easily.

But the Democrat-led Senate required help from the Republican minority that had been voting as a bloc against the bill.

Republican Sens. Hugh Farley of Schenectady County, Roy McDonald of Saratoga County and Charles Fuschillo Jr. of Long Island voted for the bills. Democratic Sen. Ruben Diaz of the Bronx voted against the bill.
This was the 11th time that they've gone through this charade.

The annual budget remains undone, and Comptroller DiNapoli is finally putting his foot down over the nonsensical approach that the legislature was hoping to pass muster - using a pension fund loan to cover pension fund obligations that were to come due to the tune of $6 billion. He'd come under political fire from folks like Andrew Cuomo who's looking to become governor in November.

One of the reasons that New York is in such bad shape is that they engaged in rampant use of one-off's and all manner of gimmicks. The pension self-dealing loan would have been just the latest, and it would have combined the two common awful practices - debt financing to balance the budget and one-off gimmicks.

The state has got to get the spending under control, and the extenders do nothing to fix things. It only punts them down the road and increases the debt load for the state.

A full fiscal year budget must be passed, and the sooner the better, because these delays continue costing New York taxpayers money with each passing day.

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