The budget's on time. That's the good news.
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Once upon a time, the members of the State Legislature could let the April 1 deadline pass without a budget and then negotiate one that reflected their priorities. But thanks to a series of court decisions dating back to the days of Governor Paterson, the Legislature must adopt a budget on time or the governor gets to control the whole process.
Cuomo has worked hard to create new jobs with his Change New York program, but these efforts take time, and there is no way to accelerate the process. In time, many of the new economic development programs will bear fruit and the job increases will be visible, but for now it’s a waiting game.
Congress passed a major tax increase in early January, and President Obama would love to get some additional revenue, but it isn’t likely to happen. New York legislators haven’t uttered a word about taxes, so the state can’t expect to save any money unless it’s done by cutting programs.
The governor and the Legislature have every right to brag about passing the first early budget in three decades. But the reason things are moving so rapidly is because the cupboard is bare and all the time-tested budget gimmicks are no longer available.
Jerry Kremer was a state assemblyman for 23 years, and chaired the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. He now heads Empire Government Strategies, a business development and legislative strategy firm. Comments about this column? JKremer@liherald.com.