For 20 straight years, the New York state budget was late — stretching well past the April 1 deadline, sometimes even into summer or fall. That streak was broken in 2011. It was then that lawmakers in Albany assured New Yorkers that the days of three men in a room — Albany-speak for a secretive process in which budgets and legislation are negotiated among the governor and the leaders of the Senate and Assembly behind closed doors — were over.
But none of those bad practices have really changed. And short of some of the genders being different, this year’s budget negotiations were the 2022 version of the very three-men-in-a-room process everyone derided.
Don’t worry, Gov. Kathy Hochul assures us. “This is a very normal budget process.”
Maybe that’s the problem: Normal or not, it stinks — in at least three different ways.