Business council warns of state's ‘runaway spending' amendment

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:57

    ALBANY—The Business Council has unveiled a new website,, to promote their viewpoint of how New York’s fiscal problems would be significantly worsened by a proposed constitutional amendment fundamentally altering the state’s budget process. Last spring, the Business Council’s board of directors voted unanimously to oppose the amendment, Proposal One on the November 8 ballot. Between now and election day, the website will be updated daily with information from a variety of sources, including news stories, opinion and editorial commentaries, other institutions’ reports and studies, and commentaries on various web logs. The site also includes links to a detailed slide show outlining the case against Proposal One; a one-page document on the proposal; the Public Policy Institute’s recent report criticizing the proposal; ideas for alternative budget reforms; and the ballot language on the proposed amendment. The site is also updated frequently with new editorials condemning the amendment from New York papers such as the New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, New York Sun, Buffalo News, Times Union, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Utica Observer-Dispatch, Canandaigua Daily Messenger, Watertown Daily Times, and the Poughkeepsie Journal. Supporters of Proposal One say it will force Albany to enact better and more timely budgets. The Public Policy Institute’s report, documenting some of the effects Proposal One would have, concludes that the proposed amendment would virtually guarantee late budgets every year, make big budget gaps more frequent, and lead to even higher taxes and debt. Instead, the report suggests, New York’s constitution could be amended to include legal limits on growth in state spending and taxes, to end Albany’s habit of spending more than it can afford. Such a provision, already in place in more than 20 other states, limits annual budget growth to affordable levels based on such factors as the inflation rate and population growth.