The Budget Dance Begins…

Yesterday, both the State Assembly and Senate passed their one-house budget resolutions.  These resolutions are in reality “tweaks” to the Governor’s proposal, signaling the true beginning of serious budget negotiations.

With the new state fiscal year beginning April 1st, the next 20 days are going to either be a quick sprint or a long, slow walk.  One issue (maybe two issues) are front and center as these negotiations begin, Tier VI (or apparently that term is not to be used, so pension reform).  The other seemingly, maybe, potentially, is finality to the redistricting debate.  But I will leave that one to the media to unwrap.

As I have previously posted here, and as expected, both the Assembly and Senate failed to incorporate Governor Cuomo’s Tier – oops, pension reform plan in their respective budget resolutions.  While the Senate Majority has stated that they “support pension reform” and will look at what the Governor proposes (as indicated by Senator DeFrancisco’s quote here), I am somewhat perplexed.  Hasn’t the Governor already proposed pension reform? Clearly negotiations have begun, and with it the “Albany dance”.

For the taxpayers of New York, I leave you a sliver of hope.  Yesterday, Governor Cuomo explicitly stated that without pension reform, there will not be a budget agreement.  Stay tuned….

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About Mike Durant

Mike Durant was named New York State Director of NFIB in May 2011. Prior to joining NFIB as the Assistant State Director in May 2010, Durant began his career in the New York Senate working in the Office of Member Services. From there, he served in a number of positions during former New York Governor George E. Pataki’s administration. As a Research Specialist in the New York State Office of Demographic Policy, Mike was responsible for drafting a redistricting proposal for Governor Pataki. In addition, Mike served as a Research Specialist for the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Associate Commissioner of Human Resource Management with the New York Department of Labor. Durant also spent four years working at the Questar III BOCES as a specialist focusing on the complex formulas that drive aid to school districts across the state while also taking a lead role in the state legislative/budget process as it related to education policy. These past positions have given Mike a deep understanding of the complex political economics of the State of New York. Active in the community, Durant has served on a number of boards in both the village of Ballston Spa and Town of Milton. Durant received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, New York and resides in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.
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