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Budget clock ticking ...

   From today's Buffalo News Opinion section:

- Set a deadline, governor - Buffalo News Editorial
   Gov. David A. Paterson keeps prodding the Legislature to pass a state budget, but he has in hand the best tool to get the job done. He needs to use it. ...
   The governor should set a deadline for passing the state budget in the next two weeks or announce he will begin layoffs to save the state $1 billion

- Challenging pay-to-play in Albany - Rod Watson/The Buffalo News
   I’m not normally a fan of single-issue voting, but election reform is the one issue that affects every other issue—taxes, education, health care, etc. Do redistricting right, so that legislators fear for their re-election and have to be responsive to voters, and it will be possible to institute other reforms and take back government.

- Budget mess tarnishes Silver - Bill Hammond/The New York Daily NewsSilver
   No one in Albany carries nearly as much clout these days as Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
   As the undisputed boss of an overwhelming 102-47 Democratic majority, he could probably round up the
votes to rename the Bronx as Red Sox Nation if he really tried.
   Yet Silver
 [right] has allowed his house to drift almost seven weeks into the new fiscal year without acting on a budget as the state Constitution requires.
   And he wants us to believe the delay is Gov. Paterson's fault?

- Introducing: New York's Hall of Shame - Albany Times Union Editorial
   There they were ... Five men with a combined 109 years of experience in the ways of state government, unable to do one of the few things they were elected to do: Pass a budget.

- Voters did the right thing on Prop. 100 - Arizona Daily Star Editorial
   Arizona lawmakers hoping to take away some grand anti-tax, anti-government statement from the Prop. 100 election Tuesday were thwarted by voters' overwhelming approval of the 1-cent-per-dollar sales-tax increase.
   Voters were willing to do what the Republican majority in the Legislature refused - accept that Arizona cannot cut its way out of this budget debacle. A new revenue stream is necessary, and voters decided to tax themselves to help reduce budget cuts to public education, public safety and public health.

- Some tough love for the state budget - Long Beach Press-Telegram Editorial
   As always is the case, those at the lower end of the financial pole suffer the most. It's tough, but it's the right thing to do to close the state budget gap and avoid even deeper - and uglier - cuts in the future.

- The wrong kind of bipartisan agreement - Twin Cities [Minn.] Daily Planet
   Minnesota State Legislators have achieved bipartisan unanimity: everyone agrees that the Minnesota state budget deficit should, once again, be balanced by raiding money from Minnesota's schools. It's a dubious achievement.

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News


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