Too often New Yorks approach to budgeting obscures spending and borrowing, DiNapoli said in a statement. The governor and the Legislature deserve credit for putting the state on stronger financial footing, but it is time to fix the persistent problems and improve New Yorks fiscal practices.
Among the reforms DiNapoli proposes is giving his office the power to review public authority spending, and prohibiting such authorities from receiving state-appropriated funds until projects are identified, scored and ranked.
He also proposes changes in statute to make the budget a multi-part document that can be difficult to decipher without a intricate knowledge of legislative language more readable and digestible for the public.
Such a proposal includes a requirement that the state Division of Budget outline changes between the governors budget proposal and the final pieces of legislation, and make them public before the budget is passed. Lawmakers and good government groups have knocked the last-minute flurry of budget activity before the April 1 deadline because it at times requires messages of necessity, a procedural step taken by the governor to move legislation to the floor of the Assembly and Senate more quickly to circumvent the required three-day aging process. More controversial budget bills were not finalized until March 31 this year the last day of the previous fiscal year.
Transparency was the focus of DiNapolis February analysis of the 2016-17 executive budget, and on Tuesday in Syracuse he urged better oversight of the disbursement of economic development funds and less of a reliance on lump-sum disbursements.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year defended more open-ended budgeting practices.
Sometimes you dont know what they are at the time youre doing the budget, but you know you want to do economic development in Utica, he said. So you have the money earmarked and allocated and appropriated for Utica, then as you figure out what exactly the program is and the use and you get the details ... the agency reviews those details, and then its announced.
The full report from DiNapolis office is below:
DiNapoli Fiscal Reform Report by Matthew Hamilton