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NY. The Lights Are About to Go Out In Albany. What Will Politicians Do When the Money Runs Dry?

July 9, 2010

IT COULDN’T HAPPEN TO A MORE MESSED UP STATE AND THE SOONER THE MONEY RUNS DRY THE BETTER.  STARTING WITH STATE POLITICIAN’S AND THEN AGENCY EXECUTIVE SALARIES.

ITS TIME TO FORECLOSE ON GOVERNMENT

ON THAT NOTE, IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW MANY HOMES FROM PEOPLE EMPLOYED IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR WERE FORECLOSED VERSUS FROM THE PUBLIC SECTOR.

The state budget – or the lack of it – is as unpleasant a subject as the heat wave, and we had hoped that by now both issues would have been resolved.

Unfortunately, the parties in Albany remain far apart. Today we are 98 days behind the legal deadline, which means the new state fiscal year, 2011, is now more than one-quarter over.

Though there are many disputes simmering in Albany, the current deadlock is about adopting the budget. Whatever else the executive and legislative branches are supposed to accomplish this year remains in limbo, partly because there is a lame-duck governor, partly because the Democrats have a bare majority of 32 senators, which means every one of them must vote for a bill to pass it, for if any member objects, the bill is lost. A senator may raise objections because of unrelated grievances against the leadership or concerns over other legislation.

In the current standoff, both houses have passed bills specifying appropriations. As might be expected, they differ. However, only the Assembly has passed a revenue bill, which is needed to pay for the expenditures, or at least some of them. The Senate cannot muster 32 votes to pass a tax bill because Senator William Stachowski of Buffalo will not approve any measure which does not provide increased status and authority for the State University at Buffalo. ANOTHER NY TAXPAYER FRAUDULENT ENTITY.

To insist on this expansion of SUNY-Buffalo, Stachowski is withholding support for an agreed upon re-instatement of the state’s portion of sales tax on clothing under $110, I FOR ONE WILL NOT BUY ANY CLOTHING IN NY BECAUSE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY SHOULD NOT BE ACHIEVED BY RAISING TAXES. which the Assembly and Senate are depending upon to balance the budget. The Democrats oppose the expansion of power for SUNY-Buffalo (and Stony Brook) because potentially all 64 state colleges could seek independence and operate autonomously, raising tuition at will and leaving some institutions far stronger than others. We have no idea at this time how or when this issue will be resolved.

Senator Stachowski is also reported to be displeased because, as a leading Democrat on the Finance Committee, he expected to chair the committee when the Democrats regained control of the Senate (after 43 years in the wilderness). However, that plum went to Senator Carl Kruger, who with the ‘three amigos’, Pedro Espada, Hiram Monserrate and Ruben Diaz, Sr., effectively controlled the organization of the DINO (Democratic in name only) senate.

In fact, it was former Majority Leader Malcolm Smith’s refusal of Espada’s demand for millions of state dollars to subsidize the Soundview Health Center, which he and his three sons operate, that triggered the Espada-Monserrate revolt that led to Smith’s unseating as majority leader and John Sampson’s installation as conference chair, with benefits.

Public confidence in the State Senate was not enhanced by the resulting June 8 coup, in which Senator Espada and former Senator Monserrate voted with the 30 Republicans to displace the Democratic leaders and form a new Republican majority. After a month of anarchy, Espada returned to the fold, and was rewarded with the majority leadership, formerly held by Malcolm Smith, who was kicked upstairs to president pro tempore of the senate, making him third in line to become governor, if the worst should happen.

As a by-product of this successful piracy, Richard Ravitch was appointed Lieutenant Governor by Governor Paterson and Judge Jonathan Lippman OF EXPOSE CORRUPT COURTS FAME See Sex Scandal in First Department (aka get up on the desk so I can test your character & fitness department over which Lippman presides) persuaded three judges on the Court of Appeals to join him in finding the appointment constitutional, although it was historically unprecedented in the 233-year history of the State of New York. Paterson now says he regrets the appointment because he feels Ravitch is too close to Speaker Silver and to establishment figures in New York City.

Much of what remains of authority in Albany is concentrated in the Assembly Speaker, who is clearly master of his own house. However, prospective governor Andrew Cuomo is already making his own judgments on issues in which the speaker may have an interest, professional or personal. The de facto Democratic senate leader, John Sampson of Brooklyn, does not have enough votes to override a governor’s veto. (Silver does, but both houses must concur in order to override.)

The result so far is deadlock, which can theoretically continue until the State runs out of money. Since its finances have been so manipulated, no one can predict with certainty when that will be. But as with Bernie Madoff, the day is certain to come.

THE DAY CAN’T COME SOON ENOUGH.  HOPEFULLY IT’LL COME BEFORE THE NY POLITICIANS RUN ALL THE BUSINESSES OUT OF STATE.

Mr. Stern, president of New York Civic, is a frequent contributor to the New York Sun.

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