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

Monday, August 18, 2008

Special State Legislature Session: Deal or No Deal

A quick run down of who wants what in tomorrow's special session of the state legislature. The deal making is taking place in the back rooms of Albany, shielded from the public's glare until it becomes a done deal.

Governor:
  • He wants budget cuts. He has given the legislature $1 billion in choices, he wants $600 million in results.
  • He wants the school tax cap already passed by the Senate to be passed by the Assembly.
Senate:
  • They want the school tax cap passed.
  • They want taxes collected on cigarettes sold on Indian reservations worth $400 million in revenue.
Assembly:
  • They want home heating assistance for low to moderate income families, it will cost $550 million, paid for by oil companies, potentially creating a platform for higher prices form oil companies to the public. Essentially it is a tax increase, that they are not passing but forcing someone (oil companies) else to do the lift for them.
  • They want to pass a tax for higher income earning people. 
This session has potential to be a big bust, although there seems to be a will to get something done and to work with Governor Paterson who is likable by all sides and becoming increasingly popular among the people of the state.

Here is the potential:
The Governor get some budget cuts, not as deep as he wanted.
The school tax cap, the cigarette tax and home heating assistance for lower to moderate income all get passed in some version.

The bust:
Income tax on high income wage earners.
Some of the Governor's budget cuts, they will fall short of $600 million in cuts.

The centerpiece of the session is the school tax cap, this is the anchor for all deals. If the Assembly succumbs to the pressure of New York State Teacher's union and Working Families Polical Party and does not pass the tax cap, then watch for the Senate to return the favor on the home heating assistance. Potentially lost in all this negotiatiing will be the budget cuts.

1 comment:

Dan Francis said...

Some places across the country are going to a 4-day school week (no classes on Monday)... how about up here?

We have lost the art of problem solving ... cutting back on education solves only one problem, maybe: saves a few bucks on gas and bus expenses, but will staff and others pay be cut?

Not likely... savings - not really.

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