Kruger: If Paterson Can’t Do the Budget, He Shouldn’t Be in Office

State Senate Finance Chair Carl Kruger is no fan of State Senator Liz Kreuger’s suggestion that that Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch, long a straight-shooting public-finance wonk, should lead budget negotiations, instead of Governor David Paterson.

(Josh Robin of NY1 reported that State Comptroller Thomas DiNapolli also thinks Ravitch should take a bigger role in the process.)

Kruger said budget responsibilities lie with the governor himself, suggesting if he needs to step aside from those talks, then he should leave office.

“If the governor wants to abdicate his authorities, then he should resign,” Kruger said when asked about the idea. “This is not where you can pick and choose your responsibilities.”

“If he feels that he’s so impotent and so paralyzed that he can’t function in the budget process,” he added, “if he wants to give up the right to formulate both policy and budget while we are in a fiscal crisis, then I think he should resign.”

Serving a role he’s filled in various administrations as an adviser or in other roles, Ravitch has been involved particularly on the policy side in developing plans related to the budget, and in his public statements, seems to take a relatively conservative view on revenue projections. Lately, he’s been working on his four-year stable financial plan, and hasn’t been much of a public face in budget negotiations, a contrast to the more high-profile position he took during the Deficit Reduction Plan late last year.

Krueger, who is vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee and doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with Kruger, told Liz yesterday she thinks that “[g]iven the critical and timely nature of the budget negotiations,” the “day-to-day negotiation” should be given to Ravitch.