Provides for the establishment of a biennial budgeting system for the state of New York replacing the state annual budget process.
BILL NUMBER:S453 REVISED 05/03/10
TITLE OF BILL: CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing amendments to sections 1, 2, 3 and 7 of article 7 of the constitution, in relation to providing for the establishment of a biennial budgeting system for the state replacing the state annual budget process
PURPOSE: This resolution proposes to amend Sections 1, 2, 3 and 7 of Article 7 of the Constitution. It would provide for the establishment of a biennial budgeting process for the State that would replace the State's annual process.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Under this legislation, every two years, the Governor would be required to submit to the Legislature a document setting forth a financial program for the ensuing biennium. The Governor would be required to submit this two-year fiscal plan in odd-numbered years by the second Tuesday following the first day of the annual meeting of the Legislature, or the third Tuesday following the first day of the annual meeting of the Legislature following the year of a constitutionally-mandated election of Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
To implement a biennial budgeting process through a constitutional amendment, two separately-elected Legislatures are required to pass this concurrent resolution in consecutive sessions. Following passage by these two full Legislatures, this measure would require public approval in a statewide referendum.
EXISTING LAW:; Under Article 7 of the Constitution, the Governor is annually required to submit to the Legislature a financial plan for the ensuing fiscal year. The Governor must submit this document on or before the first day of February in each year following the year fixed by the Constitution for the election of Governor and Lieutenant Governor, and on or before the second Tuesday following the first day of the annual meeting of the Legislature.
JUSTIFICATION: Too often in New York State's financial planning process, lawmakers' emphasis falls squarely on doing whatever is necessary to pass a budget without a disciplined analysis and consideration of the State's long-term fiscal position. While these decisions have enabled the state to continue operating for another fiscal year, they also continued to weaken the state's financial stability.
A biennial budgeting process would force lawmakers to acknowledge that the one-shots, spending increases and other actions taken in one year will have consequences in the next year. This legislation proposes to require the Governor to submit to the Legislature an Executive Budget for the ensuing two years. This cycle would also provide legislators with more time over each 24 month period to debate and consider non-fiscal policy matters important to New Yorkers.
In an August 2009 report comparing annual and biennial budgeting, the National Conference of State Legislatures stated, "Biennial budgeting represents a commitment of policy direction and funding amounts for a longer period than annual budgeting." Biennial budgeting should also reduce Executive branch costs of preparing a budget because two years' worth of financial planning activities would consolidated into one. Nationwide, 20 states operate on two-year budget cycles. out of these states with biennial budget cycles, 15 of them have annual legislative sessions similar to New York's legislative cycle.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing amendments 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 three months previous to the time of such election.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 453 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. KRUEGER, MONTGOMERY, SERRANO, VALESKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing amendments to sections 1, 2, 3 and 7 of article 7 of the constitution, in relation to providing for the establishment of a biennial budgeting system for the state replacing the state annual budget process Section 1. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That section 1 of arti- cle 7 of the constitution be amended to read as follows: Section 1. For the preparation of the budget, the head of each depart- ment of state government, except the legislature and judiciary, shall furnish the governor such estimates and information in such form and at such times as the governor may require, copies of which shall forthwith be furnished to the appropriate committees of the legislature. The governor shall hold hearings thereon at which the governor may require the attendance of heads of departments and their subordinates. Desig- nated representatives of such committees shall be entitled to attend the hearings thereon and to make inquiry concerning any part thereof. Itemized estimates of the financial needs of the legislature, certi- fied by the presiding officer of each house, and of the judiciary, approved by the court of appeals and certified by the chief judge of the court of appeals, shall be transmitted to the governor not later than the first day of December in each year IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE YEAR IN WHICH THE GOVERNOR TRANSMITS TO THE LEGISLATURE THE GOVERNOR'S BUDGET DOCUMENT for inclusion in the budget without revision but with such recommendations as the governor may deem proper. Copies of the itemized estimates of the financial needs of the judiciary also shall forthwith be transmitted to the appropriate committees of the legislature. S 2. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That section 2 of article 7 of the constitution be amended to read as follows: EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD89013-01-1 S. 453 2 S 2. [Annually, on or before the first day of February in each year following the year fixed by the constitution for the election of gover- nor and lieutenant governor, and on or before the second Tuesday follow- ing the first day of the annual meeting of the legislature, in all other years] BIENNIALLY, ON OR BEFORE THE SECOND TUESDAY FOLLOWING THE FIRST DAY OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE LEGISLATURE, EXCEPT FOLLOWING THE YEAR FIXED BY THE CONSTITUTION FOR THE ELECTION OF GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, WHICH SHALL BE THE THIRD TUESDAY FOLLOWING THE FIRST DAY OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE LEGISLATURE, AND IN ALL OTHER ODD NUMBERED YEARS, the governor shall submit to the legislature a budget [containing a complete plan of expenditures proposed to be made before the close of the ensuing fiscal year and all moneys and revenues estimated to be available therefor, together with an explanation of the basis of such estimates and recommendations as to proposed legislation, if any, which the governor may deem necessary to provide moneys and revenues suffi- cient to meet such proposed expenditures. It shall also contain such other recommendations and information as the governor may deem proper and such additional information as may be required by law] DOCUMENT SETTING FORTH A FINANCIAL PROGRAM FOR THE ENSUING BIENNIUM. S 3. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That section 3 of article 7 of the constitution be amended to read as follows: S 3. At the time of submitting the budget to the legislature the governor shall submit a bill or bills containing all the proposed appro- priations and reappropriations included in the budget and the proposed legislation, if any, recommended therein. The governor may at any time within [thirty] TWENTY-ONE days thereaft- er and, with the consent of the legislature, at any time before the adjournment thereof, amend or supplement the budget and submit amend- ments to any bills submitted by him or her or submit supplemental bills. The governor and the heads of departments shall have the right, and it shall be the duty of the heads of departments when requested by either house of the legislature or an appropriate committee thereof, to appear and be heard in respect to the budget during the consideration thereof, and to answer inquiries relevant thereto. The procedure for such appear- ances and inquiries shall be provided by law. S 4. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That section 7 of article 7 of the constitution be amended to read as follows: S 7. No money shall ever be paid out of the state treasury or any of its funds, or any of the funds under its management, except in pursuance of an appropriation by law; nor unless such payment be made within [two] FOUR years next after the passage of such appropriation act; and every such law making a new appropriation or continuing or reviving an appro- priation, shall distinctly specify the sum appropriated, and the object or purpose to which it is to be applied; and it shall not be sufficient for such law to refer to any other law to fix such sum. S 5. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing amendments 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 three months previous to the time of such election.