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A Brave Budget; The Beginning of a Battle
February 1st, 2007

Eliot Spitzer has proposed “one of the boldest, bravest budget proposals in Albany in many years,” gushes the New York Times in an editorial this morning. It says the new governor has “made good on [his] promise to start upending the ailing culture in Albany.”

While the Times doesn’t find anything to criticize in Spitzer’s proposed budget, it has singled out his plan to change the formulas through which school funding is determined as its most exciting aspect.

EJ McMahon of the Manhattan Institute, however, says that “Spitzer’s ‘new paradigm’ looks a lot like the old one,” in the New York Post. Noting that the governor is calling for a greater increase in funding than George Pataki proposed in his last eight years as governor, McMahon wonders whether Spitzer will succeed in keeping the legislature from significantly increasing the cost, as usually happens.

By all accounts Spitzer has started a fight with the legislature, and some of the state’s more powerful political interests with his proposal. (The Politicker has posted a copy of what looks like an opening salvo from health care union SEIU 1199). The Sun says the governor may have bitten off more than he can chew, likening his effort to overturn the status quo to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s failed attempt to make New York City’s elections non-partisan.

Spitzer believes that he is a steamroller, and can push his changes through, according to The Politicker. State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno responds by regaling a New York Times reporter with an amusing anecdote about his own failed attempt to use a steamroller on the farm, and predicts that Spitzer’s combativeness guarantees another late budget.

By on February 1, 2007, 12:26 pm
In category: Albany,Gotham City,Public Finance | Comments Off

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