Too many of the key agreements in this year’s budget were hashed out behind-the-scenes and the final approval was rushed through the state Legislature, according to state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
A report from the state comptroller’s office on the recently adopted sate budget found that the process of crafting the $175 billion spending plan “lacked transparency in key ways” and was “opaque.”
The entire report is available below.
The analysis faulted Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state lawmakers for utilizing waivers to bypass the three-day waiting period required by the state constitution to approve budget bills after they had been amended. In some cases this year, legislators had less than a day to read text before it came up for a vote.
“These bills were passed with little time for review by legislators and the public,” reads the report.
The report also notes that the Legislature’s budget subcommittees, which met in March, didn’t provide the public a real window into budget negotiations. This has been the reality surrounding the subcommittees and the “mothership” for more than a decade, and has been repeatedly criticized by reports from the comptroller.
“Major budget decisions were negotiated behind closed doors,” reads the comptroller’s report.
DiNapoli’s analysis also took note of the fact that lawmakers and Cuomo adopted the budget “with minimal information available as to its overall fiscal impact.”