Senator Robach Sponsors State Spending Cap Legislation
On May 30th, the New York State Senate passed legislation designed to address the state's budget deficit. This key fiscal reform (S.716), led by Senator Joe Robach of Rochester, would impose greater fiscal discipline on the state government by enacting a strict cap limiting the growth of State Operating Funds spending. In pushing for increased fiscal responsibility from the state, Senator Joe Robach's bill will help New York foster a better environment for economic growth and job creation.
Senator Joe Robach's legislation seeks to remedy the cycle of boom-and-bust budgeting that has characterized state spending over the past decade. From 2002 to 2008, during better economic times, state spending increased at a rate of nearly 8 percent, expanding from $52.8 billion to $77 billion. However, in the wake of the economic difficulties faced by New Yorkers since 2008, State revenues have declined dramatically. As a result, the earlier expansion in state spending has turned into a heavy burden on the State, with lawmakers struggling to address a nearly $20.1 billion deficit during last year's budget process.
Senator Robach's legislation would end this cycle by limiting the growth of State Operating Funds to no more than the average rate of inflation of the three previous calendar years. Further, the bill would increase the maximum capacity of the state's rainy day reserve from 3 percent of General Fund spending to 10 percent. Combined, these proposals would restrain state spending and allow surpluses that might accrue from the proposed spending cap to be used during times of economic difficulty. As put by Senator Joe Robach himself, "Capping the state budget will add fiscal sanity and responsibility to the state budget process and will avoid putting more of a burden on working men and women and families."Continued on the next page