Gov. Paterson earlier today touted a “major reform initiative” he planned to announce this afternoon. But what he had to say is, shall we say, unlikely to shake Albany to its core.
He proposed a bill that would put a cap increases in state spending at the average inflation rate for the past three years. It could be superseded under extraordinary circumstances if two-thirds of both the Assembly and Senate agreed.
“A spending cap will reform state government and make it more accountable to taxpayers,” Paterson said.
What he didn’t say, of course, is that there is nothing now preventing the state from limiting spending to whatever he and the Legislature decides. If fact, he has veto power over most spending. Yet overall spending before this year (when the collapse of state tax revenues forced a brake on spending increases) has generally climbed much faster than inflation since 1996.
Senate Republicans supported similar ideas in the past when they were in the majority, but it has never passed the Assembly.