7/16/2010 – 106 days after the 2010-2011 State Budget was due, Assemblyman Greg Ball (R,
C, I – Patterson) introduced new legislation on Thursday at a Press
Conference at the historic Putnam County Courthouse to motivate Albany’s future leaders to work together on a budget by setting guidelines to withhold pay from leadership and legislative and executive staff should the
budget be late. Under the new legislation, if the Governor and the
Legislative Leaders fail to pass a budget on time, they will forfeit their paychecks.
“Working people, who work for a living and play by the rules, can barely hold on to their homes and are struggling to pay their property taxes while our Legislature consistently refuses to take action for months,” Ball said. “When it comes to passing a budget on time, the Legislature is beyond irresponsible. This ethical and moral lapse is a profile lacking courage and represents a blatant and arrogant disregard for New Yorkers, all at taxpayer expense.”
Ball’s Pay Forfeiture Bill begins to penalize legislative leaders, both in the Majority and the Minority, as well as the Governor when the budget is one day late by withholding their bi-weekly paychecks. Once the budget is 30 days late, under Ball’s bill, the Governor and the Legislative Leaders forfeit their paychecks until a budget passes. Further, once the budget is 30 days late, Ball’s bill will withhold bi-weekly paychecks from the Majority Legislative Staff and the Governor’s staff until a budget is passed.
Under current law, pay is withheld from all legislators if the budget is late but that money is reimbursed once the budget passes. Ball says the current law fails to entice Legislators, many of whom have other sources of
income. Ball also notes that the Governor, who is instrumental in the Budget process, continues to receive a paycheck while the budget is late.
“Too many elected officials have thoughtlessly fallen in step with this dysfunction. They are sleepwalking and in desperate need of a wake-up call,” Ball said.
Over the last four years, Ball has offered several proposals to close budget gaps, such as Department Consolidation, the elimination of pork Member Items, and 1099 misclassification reform. He has also introduced legislation to begin New York’s fiscal year on October 1, after the Legislative session, so the Legislature can not stall the budget process.