No excuses acceptable for lack of transparency, given the circumstances it might have been acceptable to have a late budget, but no reason to regress to bad habits in the name of expediency and then not meet the grade in either area. The process was flawed!
The excuses chiefly center around Spitzer's witlessness.
At the very top of the list is our infamous former Governor Spitzer who decided that high priced hookers on trains to Washington, D.C. would send our fragile government into more of a tail (no pun intended) spin for a more than a week. Spitzer exits stage right.
Then enter Paterson stage left, and he attempts to pick up the pieces, however, before the important business of working on our budget that state and local governments and school districts depend on, he decides to run his hotel habits by the media and public and let them chew on it for a week. Then, he takes the process to the back room, where he lacks the fortitude to take a stand against Bruno and Silver, but promises next year is the year.
So, once again, New York State budget process ended up a secret, as tight as Eliot's black socks, with 3 men in a room and not a committee of rank and file lawmakers in sight.
Susan Lerner of Common Cause witnessed the Albany budget process for the first time and offered this assessment, "I knew things were messy in Albany, but I'm truly taken aback at how completely non responsive the system is to the concerns of New Yorkers."
A sloppy bloated budget, produced 8 days late, the latest in 4 years, and all done behind closed doors. All of this is acknowledged by the three men; Bruno, Silver and Paterson, when, like repentant children, they are all promising to do better next year.
They did not hit a single mark this year, what can be acceptable for an excuse?