NYS Should Declare Financial State of Emergency

Assembly Republican Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) sent Governor David Paterson a letter this morning urging that he request the state Legislature to pass legislation formally declaring a “state of financial emergency.”The legislature’s declaration of such a state of financial emergency would allow for the consideration of controversial provisions expected in the Governor’s emergency extender without possible legal challenges, or the wasting of public monies that would be required to defend such challenges. The controversial components of the Governor’s extender include a delay of payments to construction businesses that had contracted with the state, and suspension of a contractually obligated four percent raise provided through collective bargaining.In his correspondence to the Governor, Kolb stated that: “For the past several weeks, you have publicly and repeatedly warned of New York State facing an unprecedented financial emergency and the necessity of lawmakers working with you to resolve the state’s $9.05 billion budget deficit.”Kolb continued: “In the absence of a fiscally responsible 2010-11 State Budget and any timetable or action plan for its timely enactment, you announced yesterday your intention to submit an emergency budget extender to temporarily fund the operations of state government without a spending plan being in place. Your proposed budget extender is expected to contain two controversial measures: the first being a delay of payments to construction companies that have contracted with the state; and the second being a suspension of a four percent raise provided through a collective bargaining agreement.”Kolb indicated that if the Governor truly considered the provisions as emergency measures, then they were required to be formally taken up by the state Legislature in accordance with Article III, Section 25.”I believe the appropriate action for you to take is to request the Legislature to pass legislation declaring a financial state of emergency for New York State. The legislation would also include any specific measures to be voted upon by the Legislature necessary to deal with the state’s fiscal crisis. If these measures were introduced and subsequently voted on in the correct fashion, it would avoid the likelihood of a potential legal challenge and the unnecessary wasting of taxpayer dollars defending the same,” Kolb’s letter concluded.

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