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DiNapoli: Budget Process Lacked Transparency

Kristine Bellino/WIBX News

New York State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli gives Governor Cuomo and the legislature credit for finishing work on the budget before the fiscal year started Monday.

But DiNapoli is withholding final judgment on the specifics in the package approved by the Senate and Assembly last week.

Speaking on WNBF Radio’s Binghamton Now program, DiNapoli said his staff is reviewing the budget details and an assessment should be released in a couple of weeks.

DiNapoli remains unhappy on the reliance of “one-shot” revenue sources in the new budget.

The comptroller said the revenue estimates used were “in the ballpark of what’s reasonable.” But, he noted, in recent years, the state has found actual revenue has turned out to be lower than original projections.

DiNapoli said it will be important to closely monitor actual revenue figures in the months ahead and to take steps to adjust spending if the money actually coming in turns out to be less than anticipated.

The comptroller also isn’t pleased with the amount of borrowing being done. He noted much of that is “back door borrowing” through state authorities which is not approved by voters.

DiNapoli noted “transparency and openness” appeared to be sacrificed in this year’s budget process in the effort to get a final package in the place on time.

The comptroller said the way the process played out in recent weeks didn’t allow for public reaction as “difficult options” were being considered.

DiNapoli also suggested there wasn’t enough time for legislators to fully read and consider all of the budget bills before they were voted on, in some cases late at night or very early in the morning.

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