Bill S2963-2011

Provides for continuing austerity contingency budget in the event of a budget stalemate

Provides that where the legislature has not passed a budget by the start of the fiscal year the budget bills for the previous year shall remain in effect with a five percent reduction in all appropriations except entitlement programs required by law and appropriations for debt service; such budget shall remain in effect until a balanced budget is passed.

Details

Actions

  • Apr 27, 2011: OPINION REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • Feb 7, 2011: TO ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR OPINION
  • Feb 3, 2011: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2963

TITLE OF BILL: CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment to article 7 of the constitution, in relation to providing for a continuing austerity contingency budget in the event that the budget submitted by the governor is not passed by the legislature before the start of the new fiscal year with or without permissible alterations

PURPOSE OF THE BILL: To amend the New York State Constitution to provide that if the Legislature has not adopted a state budget by the beginning of the state fiscal year, then an interim "automatic austerity contingency budget" consisting of the preceding fiscal year's budget bills, with most appropriations reduced by five percent, will be in place until a new budget is enacted.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: § 1- Amends Article VII of the State Constitution by adding a new 4-a to require that if the Legislature has not acted upon the Governor's Executive Budget by the beginning of the state fiscal year, then all budget bills enacted for the preceding fiscal year, limited by a five percent reduction in appropriations therein, shall continue in effect. Excluded from the mandatory five percent reductions are debt service and appropriations otherwise required by law.

§ 2- Effective date.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: There is currently no legal mechanism in place that provides for the continuation of state government services in the absence of a new state budget after the beginning of the fiscal year. Continuation of such services can only be accomplished on an ad hoc basis, with the passage of interim appropriation bills by the Legislature upon the issuance of messages of necessity by the Governor.

JUSTIFICATION: Enactment of the state budget after the beginning of the state fiscal year on April 1 has become, unfortunately, a regular occurrence, one that damages the credibility and credit of both the State of New York and its localities.

This must stop. If the Legislature and the Governor are unable to reach agreement on a state budget by the beginning of the state fiscal year, a contingency mechanism must be in place that allows for the continuation of state government operations (and vital state

financial aid to localities and school districts) until the Governor and Legislature can accomplish their obligation to enact a budget.

This proposed constitutional amendment creates such an automatic contingency mechanism, one that provides for an across-the-board, five percent austerity reduction in all appropriations except for debt service and entitlement programs.

Under this proposal, if a budget is not set in place by the beginning of the fiscal year on April 1, the preceding year's budget would, by law, be deemed to be in full force and effect - but only until such time as the Legislature acts upon those budget bills submitted by the Governor as part of his Executive Budget that constitute a balanced budget. The mechanism created by this proposal is an interim budget only. It lasts no longer than the time during which the Legislature is unable, after the beginning of the fiscal year, to agree on a state budget. Once the Legislature has acted on the Governor's budget bills, the interim automatic austerity contingency budget disappears and the legislatively-enacted budget is set in place.

This proposal will assure that vital state revenues continue to be collected and state obligations are paid for as long as it takes the Governor and Legislature to agree on a state budget. Such a provision in the law will assure that no school child, no service provider, no visitor to a park or motor vehicle office, or recipient of a tax refund will go without the appropriate service because agreement on a budget is delayed.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Savings to the taxpayer, the state and local governments if this constitutional amendment is approved.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing amendment be referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the next succeeding general election of Members of the Assembly, and, in conformity with §1 of Article 19 of the Constitution, be published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2963 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 3, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. KRUGER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment to article 7 of the constitution, in relation to providing for a continuing austerity contingency budget in the event that the budget submitted by the governor is not passed by the legis- lature before the start of the new fiscal year with or without permis- sible alterations Section 1. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That article 7 of the constitution be amended by adding a new section 4-a to read as follows: S 4-A. IF, ON OR BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF THE STATE FISCAL YEAR WHICH NEXT FOLLOWS SUBMISSION OF THE EXECUTIVE BUDGET BILLS DESCRIBED IN SECTION THREE OF THIS ARTICLE, THE LEGISLATURE HAS NOT PASSED, WITH OR WITHOUT PERMISSIBLE ALTERATIONS, ONE OR MORE OF SUCH BILLS CONTAINING ALL THE PROPOSED APPROPRIATIONS AND REAPPROPRIATIONS INCLUDED IN THE GOVERNOR'S SUBMISSION PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE OF THIS ARTICLE, THEN IN SUCH EVENT ALL OF THE AUTHORITY TO RAISE AND SPEND MONEYS PURSUANT TO THE PREVIOUSLY ADOPTED BUDGET LAWS IN EFFECT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR DURING WHICH THE GOVERNOR'S SUBMISSION IS MADE SHALL CONTINUE IN EFFECT DURING THE NEXT STATE FISCAL YEAR BUT SUCH SPENDING AUTHORITY SHALL BE LIMITED BY A MANDATORY ACROSS-THE-BOARD FIVE PERCENT REDUCTION IN ALL STATE SPENDING, EXCEPT PAYMENTS FOR ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS MANDATED BY LAW AND PAYMENTS FOR SERVICING THE STATE'S DEBT, UNTIL SUCH TIME AS NEW AUTHORI- TY IS CONFERRED BY ADOPTION BY THE LEGISLATURE, WITH OR WITHOUT PERMIS- SIBLE ALTERATIONS, OF A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF THE BILLS SO SUBMITTED BY THE GOVERNOR AND APPLICABLE TO THE NEW FISCAL YEAR, WHICH ADOPTED BILLS IN THE AGGREGATE CONSTITUTE, IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE LEGISLATURE, A BALANCED BUDGET. S 2. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing amendment be referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the next succeeding general election of members of the assembly, and, in conformity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be published for 3 months previous to the time of such election. EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD89083-01-1

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