Statement From State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli
on Governor Paterson's State of the State Address
This should be a transformative year for New York State. The lessons of last year should be more than enough incentive to finally fix our state’s long list of problems.
For a whole host of reasons, New Yorkers have lost faith in their government. Governor Paterson has laid out an ambitious agenda to try and restore some of that faith. I don’t agree with everything in that agenda, but I do agree that state government needs to take a serious look in the mirror. And that self-examination should include a real reconsideration of our budget process.
Last month, for the first time in history, the state’s General Fund ended the month in the red. Revenue collections have come in below projections every month of this fiscal year. The fact is New York has never been good at balancing its checkbook. And now the state is living paycheck to paycheck. Local governments and school districts have faced mid-year reductions and fiscal uncertainty. If New York was waiting to hit rock bottom before finally changing its ways, I think we’ve come close enough.
Next year’s budget must reflect what New Yorkers desperately need ― a state government that doesn’t make promises it can’t keep and bases its budget on reality, not political pipe dreams. New Yorkers want, need and deserve a better government than they’ve been getting.