Paterson: How Do You Like My Spending Cap, Tom?

ALBANY—David Paterson just called on Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to get behind the spending cap he proposed last week.

I'm sure the following press release, issued by Paterson around 3:20 p.m., has nothing to do with DiNapoli's characterization this morning of the state budget as one big delay tactic. Nothing.

GOVERNOR PATERSON CALLS ON COMPTROLLER DINAPOLI TO SUPPORT SPENDING CAP

Spending Cap, As Proposed by Governor Paterson, Would Close All Out-Year Gaps

Proposal is Most Immediate and Effective Reform Measure to Limit Growth of Deficits
Governor David A. Paterson today called on State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to support the Governor's spending cap proposal, major reform legislation that would cap the growth of State government spending. This initiative will help control State expenditures, improve New York's long-term fiscal integrity, and make government more accountable to taxpayers.

"I fought successfully to enact the largest spending cuts in State history. In the process, State spending was held nearly flat," said Governor Paterson. "To ensure fiscal discipline continues in the future, I have proposed a spending cap. I call on Comptroller DiNapoli to join me in pushing the Legislature to institute a spending cap for the state budget – the most immediate and effective way to control spending and limit growth of out-year deficits."

In a report released earlier today, Comptroller DiNapoli made a number of suggestions for reforming the budget process. However, many of these proposals have been advanced previously and unlike a spending cap, none will have the lasting effect of bringing the State into structural balance.

If the spending cap legislation proposed by Governor Paterson is enacted, the current three-year budget gap of approximately $25 billion would be erased. In fact, New York would instead have a cumulative budget surplus of $2.9 billion by fiscal year 2012-1013.

"I welcome Comptroller DiNapoli's ideas and I look forward to his support in calling on the Legislature to adopt a spending cap – real reform legislation that will change how Albany thinks, acts, and does business," said Governor Paterson.

Under the spending cap legislation proposed on May 4, the Governor would be required to propose, and the Legislature would have to enact, a budget that limits State Operating Funds growth to the average rate of inflation from the previous three calendar years. The State Operating Funds budget includes all State spending except long-term capital expenses and federal aid. It is the best measure of what it costs State taxpayers to operate State government in a given year.

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Paterson: How Do You Like My Spending Cap, Tom?