"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Gov Means Business, Due Day May 16th

Today is the due date for the state agencies to produce their planned 3.35% cut in spending. All eyes and ears are on the Governor for follow through, and to see how much "pain" agencies purposely attempt to produce.

To: Agency Commissioners

From: Governor David A. Paterson

Re: State Budget

Date: April 21, 2008

When I took office, it was clear New York needed to get its fiscal house in order. That is why, in my first act as governor, I called for an $800 million across-the-board reduction in State spending.

With economic storm clouds gathering on the horizon, I knew that this was the only prudent choice. Accordingly, the Enacted Budget requires all State agencies to manage a 3.35 percent reduction in projected spending. Both the State’s Financial Plan and the public demand that we meet our savings target to help ensure a balanced budget.

The Budget does not dictate what actions each Commissioner must take in order to implement this reduction. Instead, I believed it was a better course of action to draw on your expertise, as well as that of your staff, in determining how to improve our government’s efficiency. As such, by May 16, 2008, each agency must submit a detailed plan of action to the Division of the Budget, identifying how it will realize its required share of these savings.

The reductions you propose must be achievable, recurring, and serious. Your plan must reflect the creativity needed to provide the services the public expects at a lower cost.

Above all, you must rethink your hiring practices. Only job openings absolutely essential to your agency’s operations and protecting the health and safety of New Yorkers are to be filled. Positions that do not fit this criterion must be left vacant.

I have faith that each of you will be able to find ways to cut costs and achieve these goals. If, however, I deem that your proposal will not produce the required savings assumed in our State Financial Plan, there are several corrective actions that I am prepared to take. These include withholding an amount of budgeted funding needed to hit your savings target or implementing a hard hiring freeze at your agency. I sincerely hope and expect such measures will not be necessary.

After your plans are submitted and approved, we need to immediately turn our attention to next year’s budget, which promises to be constructed in an even bleaker economic climate. You must use the development of these savings initiatives as an opportunity to fundamentally reevaluate your agency’s operations from top to bottom. I have an ambitious vision for our State’s finances, and these reductions are only the beginning.

In the current environment, complacency is unacceptable. We must change the way the State does business, and start leading the nation as an example of what is right in government. Together, we must rebuild New York into what it once was and can be again – the Empire State. And that starts with a better, more fiscally responsible State budget.

I look forward to your cooperation as we seek to achieve this common goal.

1 comment:

RWiley said...

Our new Governor sounds like a man who does not buy into the "Bush Great Economy" theory and is willing to address New York's recession.

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