BALLSTON – Mary Beth Walsh has been endorsed by the statewide conservative party in her bid for state Assembly. [Read more…]
BALLSTON – Jim Fischer has submitted his nomination papers and requisite signatures for his candidacy for the New York State Assembly. [Read more…]
Mary Beth Walsh, candidate for the 112th Assembly District, has received endorsements from outgoing Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R,C,I-Glenville; Sen. Hugh Farley; Sen. Kathleen Marchione; and Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, R,C,I,Reform-Troy. [Read more…]
Jim Fischer, the Ballston Republican who ran against Democrat Paul Tonko in 2014, announced he will seek the Republican nomination to succeed Assemblyman Jim Tedisco in the New York State Assembly. [Read more…]
This week the New York State Legislature passed the third straight on-time budget in the last three years.
One of the budget bills that was taken up to little fanfare amid some other higher profile issues was legislation to spend $6.4 billion to pay state debt service, what I call “back-door borrowing,” which is mortgaging our state’s future.
Back-door borrowing refers to debt issued by public authorities or pubic benefit corporations such as the Thruway Authority without voter approval. New York State is ranked fifth among all states in debt per person, and in 2011 ranked as the second most indebted state, behind California.
Taxpayers are on the hook for $57.6 billion in total state-related debt for the 2013-14 budget year. The state Comptroller estimates that state public authorities, which are overseen by unelected boards and are not directly accountable to voters, are carrying a total of $243.7 billion in debt.
In 1990, the state sold Attica to a state authority and then leased it back in what was billed as $200 million in borrowing. As of 2010, the state has paid $344 million and still owes $222 million in principal and interest.
It’s time to close the back-door on borrowing because taxpayers are maxed out on state debt, and it’s mortgaging our children’s future.
We can’t change the past but we can ensure that in the future, New York State continues to move away from these irresponsible practices. New York State government must end living in the altered reality that there is always a revenue problem, when in many instances New York has had a taxing, spending and borrowing priorities problem.
I’m sponsoring legislation to prohibit borrowing without voter approval and legislation to require any ballot proposition that authorizes state debt to include information on both the principle, interest and payback period that would be incurred by taxpayers–basically, a state truth in borrowing law.
When a working family or a small business goes to a bank to request a loan, it is not as simple as the bank saying “sure, here is your money.” The terms are clearly laid out. Not only do you know exactly how much you’re borrowing, but also you know precisely the amount that you will have to pay back. You know the principal amount, cost of interest, and the term to maturity.
Unfortunately, this information is not shared with New York State taxpayers before they go into the voting booth to decide on new borrowing proposals.
Borrowing has been the root of the state’s past fiscal problems. New York can’t keep refinancing its loans and forcing future generations of New Yorkers to pay the price for this recklessness and dress it up as a solution.
Jim Tedisco is the New York State assemblyman for the 112th Assembly District. In November 2012 he was elected to his 16th term in office. He served as the Assembly’s Minority Leader from November 2005 to April 2009.