With or without Gov. Pataki's cooperation, state legislators are expected to finish passing a series of budget bills before the new fiscal year begins Thursday.
Once the Legislature adopted a "temporary" personal-income-tax increase in 2003, it was only a matter of time before someone in Albany moved to make the tax hike permanent.
Two decades of abysmal failure is enough to embarrass even the New York State Legislature. And so, earlier this year, Senate and Assembly leaders agreed on a set of measures - a proposed constitutional amendment and an enabling statute - supposedly designed to guarantee an on-time budget every year.
A court-imposed dead line for changing New York state's school fund ing formula will probably come and go in the next two weeks, without any agreed-upon response from Gov. Pataki and legislative leaders in Albany. At that point, it will be up to state Supreme Court Justice Leland DeGrasse — and, by extension, the appellate courts above him — to decide what needs to be done to ensure a "sound basic education" for all New York City students.
Thanks to state budget gridlock in Albany, New York City homeowners will have to wait at least a little longer for Mayor Bloomberg's $400 property tax rebate.
Seeking to divert attention from their failure to adopt a budget on time for the 20th consecutive year, state legislative leaders have unveiled a budget reform package that will do little to fix New York's dysfunctional budget process. In many respects, it could actually make things much worse.
New York state legislative leaders reportedly are still optimistic that they can produce an on-time budget for the first time in two decades. This, says state Comptroller Alan Hevesi, "would be a tremendous achievement."