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Holding Government Accountable

THE PEOPLE FIGHT BACK! 

click here for:
Brennan Center Reports on NY's Legislature --
found to be the nation's MOST DYSFUNCTIONAL 

SECURING LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT & OVERRIDE
of the 2nd & 3rd phases of the judicial pay raises
scheduled to take effect APRIL 1, 2013 & APRIL 1, 2014

CJA's March 29, 2013 letter to Governor Cuomo's Chief of Staff -- "RE: The Governor’s Duty to Disapprove S.2601-A/A.3001-A (Judiciary/Legislative Appropriations Bill) , Pursuant to Article VII, §4 & Article IV, §7 of the New York State Constitution, Because the Legislature Violated Express Constitutional and Statutory Safeguards, as well as its Own Rules, in Passing It"

 for  referred-to newly created webpage --
see webpage for CJA's April 15, 2013 corruption complaint to US Attorney Bharara, accessible via:

HOLDING GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE
FOR ITS
GRAND LARCENY OF THE PUBLIC FISC


THE SCENE OF THE CRIME:
Assembly Floor -- March 29, 2013
Senate Floor -- March 26, 2013

CJA's March 28, 2013 e-mail to Assembly Members Buchwald & Katz -- "Subject:  Annotations for SUCCESSFUL, due process-procedural objections on Assembly floor"
             March 24 transcript excerpt
             March 26 transcript excerpt 

CJA's March 27, 2013 e-mail to Assembly Ways & Means Chairman Farrell, Ranking Member Oaks, Assembly Members Buchwald & Katz -- "Subject -- Assisting Assembly Members in their Duty to Reject Judicial Appropriations Bill A.3001"

The Senate's Grand Larceny of the Public Fisc
Scene of the Crime:
Senate floor -- March 26, 2013 
(at 00:16:26);
transcription &
referred-to Report
  voting against: Espaillat, Hoylman, Latimer, Parker, Sampson
       Senate Finance Committee -- March 26, 2013


CJA's March 26, 2013 e-mail to Senate Finance Committee Chairman DeFrancisco & Ranking Member Krueger -- with copy to Senator Latimer -- "RE:  Request that CJA's Opposition Report & verified complaint be brought to the Senate floor for inspection by the Senators"

CJA's March 26, 2013 letter to ALL Assembly Members --
"Why You Must Reject A.3001 -- The Appropriations Bill for the Judiciary"

CJA's March 26, 2013 letter to Secretary of Senate & Assembly Public Information Office -- "RE: The Public’s Right to Know the 'Process' Behind Adoption of Senate Resolution 818 and Assembly Resolution 812: The Scandal of Judiciary Appropriations Bill S.2601/A.3001, the Unidentified, Unitemized Judicial Salary Increases Therein, District Attorney Salary Reimbursement Based Thereon – & the Price Tag of Each" 


CJA's March 25, 2013 e-mails to Senator Krueger, Senator Latimer, Senator Parker, & Senator Hoylman -- "Standing up for Legislative Law 54 & 'process' with respect to the budget"

        -- transcribed excerpt of March 24, 2013 Senate floor proceeding

        -- transcribed excerpt of February 26, 2009 hearing of Temporary

           Senate Committee on Rules & Administration Reform


        -- pertinent pages from 2009 Minority & Majority Reports of
           Temporary Senate Committee on Rules & Administration Reform

        -- Legislative Law 54  

click here for: March 24, 2013 Senate floor proceedings 

click here for: March 24, 2013 Senate Finance Commmitee meeting
 

CJA's March 24, 2013 letter to ALL Senators --
"Why You Must Reject S.2601 -- The Appropriations Bill for the Judiciary"                   
fn. 3: S-2605-C/D

CJA's March 22, 2013 letter to the General Budget Conference Committee & its Subcommittee on "Public Protection", Criminal Justice, & Judiciary -- "RE: The Public’s Right to Know the 'Process' Behind Adoption of Senate Resolution 818 and Assembly Resolution 812: The Scandal of Judiciary Appropriations Bill S.2601/A.3001, the Unidentified, Unitemized Judicial Salary Increases Therein, District Attorney Salary Reimbursement Based Thereon – & the Price Tag of Each" 

click here for:  Senate Resolution 818,  Assembly Resolution 812, videos of their passage on March 11th, as well as videos of the General Budget Conference Committee & its Subcommittee on "Public Protection", Criminal Justice & Judiciary  


CJA's March 19, 2013 letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo -- "RE:  Assisting the Legislature in Discharging its Constitutional Duty:  The People’s Right to Know the Dollar Cost of the Judiciary Budget & of the Appropriations Bill for the Judiciary & to be Protected from “Grand Larceny of the Public Fisc” by Unidentified, Unitemized Judicial Pay Raises, whose Fraudulence, Statutory-Violations, and Unconstitutionality are Proven by Documentary Evidence in Your Possession & the Legislature’s"

                 CJA's February 26, 2013 letter to Budget Director Robert Megna

                 CJA's February 1, 2013 letter to Governor Cuomo


CJA's March 18, 2013 letter to All Senate and Assembly Members:  "The People's Right to Know the Dollar Cost of the Judiciary Budget & of the Appropriations Bill for the Judiciary"

CJA's March 15, 2013 e-mail ALERT to All Senate & Assembly Members:  "Is the Judiciary Budget a 'Slush Fund'?"

CJA's March 13, 2013 e-mail to the General Budget Conference Committee & its Subcommittee on "Public Protection", Criminal Justice & Judiciary  - "Subject: The Legislature's Duty to Reject Judicial Appropriations Bill S2601-A3001 & its Unidentified Judicial Salary Increases that are Fraudulent, Statutorily-Violative, & Unconstitutional"

CJA's March 11, 2013 letter to the Senate Budget Subcommittee for "Public Protection" -- "RE: Rectifying Your Absence at the February 6, 2013 Budget Hearing on ‘Public Protection’ by Verifying the Dispositive Nature of the Opposition Testimony to the Judiciary Budget & its Judicial Salary Increase Request”

   -- ANALYSIS  of the Legislature's "Color Books", to further demonstrate the Legislature's duty to reject the Judiciary Budget & the Judicial Salary Increases
          Exhibit A: Senate Majority's "White Book"
                                   link to "White Book"
          Exhibit B:  Senate Minority's "Blue Book"
                                   link to "Blue Book"
          Exhibit C:  Assembly Majority's "Yellow Book"
                                   link to "Yellow Book"
          Exhibit D:  Assembly Minority's "Green Book"
                                  not publicly available 

*    *    * 

Judiciary's two-part budget -- November 30, 2012:
      "Operating" costs budget
      "General State Charges"

                     Judiciary's "single budget bill"

Governor's Appropriations Bill for the Judiciary
(combined with appropriations for the Legislature) S-2601; A-3001:
(Judiciary appropriations at pp. 10-27)

Here's the Governor's Commentary on the Judiciary Budget

Governor Andrew Cuomo's "Executive Budget" for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 -- Judiciary and Legislative Budgets camoflaged as "Agency Appropriations"

click here for
Governor Cuomo's Division of the Budget, headed by Robert Megna     

Division of Budget Summary of 2013-14 Judiciary Budget    
           compare to Legislature's budget request

      *    *    * 

  click here for:  
Video of CJA's testimony
at Senate & Assembly's February 6, 2013
Joint Budget Hearing on "Public Protection"

-- as posted on Senate website
last speaker:  at 7:21:50

as posted on Assembly website

                   click here for witness list & posted written testimony 
click here for
Feb 1st voice mail message

THE DISPOSITIVE EVIDENCE, handed up at the February 6, 2013 budget hearing in support of CJA's opposition to the judicial pay raises: 
 

           #1:   click here for:  CJA's October 27, 2011 Opposition Report 
 
           #2:   click here for
Verified complaint in CJA's People's lawsuit vs NYS' three government branches & highest constitutional officers to void the judicial pay raises & secure judicial accountability -- CJA v. Cuomo        
                                               

REFERRED-TO CORRESPONDENCE ABOUT THE JUDICIARY'S BUDGET, also handed-up at February 6, 2013 budget hearing

With the Judicial Branch:

CJA's January 29, 2013 letter to Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti -  "RE: (1) Clarifying the Judiciary’s Budget for Fiscal Years 2013-2014 & 2012-2013: (a) The dollar amounts sought by the Judiciary for judicial salary increases; (b) The dollar amounts sought by the Judiciary for “compensation and non-salary benefits for judges and justices of the unified court system”, exclusive of salary; and (2) Production of the Judiciary’s findings of facts and conclusions of law with respect to CJA’s October 27, 2011 Opposition Report and People’s lawsuit based thereon against New York State’s three governmental branches and highest constitutional officers ,CJA, et al. v. Cuomo, et al., to void the three-phase judicial salary increases"

CJA's January 31, 2013 e-mail to Office of Court Administration Communications Office -- "Subject: Questions Regarding the Judiciary's Budgets for Fiscal Years 2013-2014 and 2012-2013"

CJA's February 4, 2013 e-mail to Judiciary -- "Subject: Awaiting Your Answers:  Questions Regarding the Judiciary's Budgets for Fiscal Years 2013-2014 and 2012-2013"

                           
With the Legislative Branch:

CJA's January 30, 2013 letter to Temporary Senate President Dean Skelos & Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver -- "RE:  Enabling the Legislative Committees Directly Responsible for Oversight of the Judiciary’s Budget to Discharge their Mandatory Legislative Function 

CJA's January 30, 2013 letter to Senate Finance Committee: Chair John DeFrancisco & Ranking Member Liz Krueger;  Assembly Ways and Means Committee: Chair Herman D. Farrell, Jr. & Ranking Member Robert Oaks; Senate Judiciary Committee:  Chair John J. Bonacic & Ranking Member Ruth Hassell-Thompson; Assembly Judiciary Committee: Chair Helene E. Weinstein & Ranking Member Tom McKevitt -- "RE: February 6, 2013 Joint Legislative Hearing on 'Public Protection': The Legislature’s Mandatory Duty to Override the Judiciary’s Request for “funding for the next phase of the judicial salary increase”, in Discharge of its Checks-and-Balance Constitutional Function"


With the Executive Branch:

CJA's February 1, 2013 letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo -- "RE: Discharging Your Constitutional Duty with Respect to the Judiciary Budget Request for Funding of the Judicial Salary Increases Recommended by the August 29, 2011 'Final' Report of the Special Commission on Judicial Compensation"

CJA's February 5, 2013 e-mail to Division of Budget -- "Subject: Waiting to Hear from You:  What Review Does the Division of Budget Do of the Judiciary Budget?"

CJA's February 1, 2013 letter to Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli & Attorney General Eric Schneiderman -- "RE: Discharging Your Constitutional Duty with Respect to the Judiciary Budget Request for Funding of the Judicial Salary Increases Recommended by the August 29, 2011 'Final' Report of the Special Commission on Judicial Compensation"
                        -- referred-to January 22, 2013 press release of Attorney General
                                           & January 22, 2013 press release of Comptroller


ADDITIONAL SUPPORTING MATERIALS, REFERRED TO & RELIED UPON DURING FEBRUARY 6, 2013 TESTIMONY:

As to the constitutional requirement of itemization in the budget -- & the power & duty of the Legislature to reject a budget whose lack of itemization prevents meaningful review

Supreme Court decision in Pines, et al. v. New York State

"'While the Constitution requires itemization of the State budget and appropriation bills to implement the budget (Saxton v. Carey, 44 N.Y.2d 545, 548...(1978) citing People v. Tremaine, 281 N.Y.1, 5...[1939]), there is no constitutional definition of itemization (Saxton, 44 N.Y.2d at 550, quoting and essentially adopting Judge Breitel's dissent in Hidley v. Rockefeller, 28 N.Y.2 439...[1971]).  Consequently, it has been held that,

...the degree of itemization necessary in a particular budget is whatever degree of itemization is necessary for the Legislature to effectively review that budget.  Should the Legislature determine that a particular budget is so lacking in specificity as to preclude meaningful review, then it will be the duty of that Legislature to refuse to approve such a budget...

(Saxton, 44 N.Y.2d at 550).  ...If the legislature determines that a budget is not sufficiently itemized then it should decline to adopt it; however, once adopted the logical inference can be drawn that the legislature found the budget to be sufficiently itemized and capable of implementation."

See cases -- Saxton v. Carey People v. Tremaine (II); Hidley v. Rockefeller

   --  NOTE:  the quality of "justice" in NY's courts:  the fraudulence of the Supreme Court decision in Pines v NYS, imposing a liability of $51 million upon the State for judicial salary raises purportedly passed by the Legislature in 2009
       -- read page 6 of the decision describing the Assembly & Senate floor debates -- & compare transcript of Assembly debate  &  transcript of Senate debate

             click here for:  the Judgment:
"ORDERED, that [NYS] shall cause the sum of Fifty-One Million Six Thousand Seven Hundred Fifty Nine ($51,006,759) Dollars, for the 2009-2010 appropriation adjusting the compensation of the judges and justices of the Unified Court System, to be allocated and forthwith paid..." 

               record-appeal: Pines v. NYS

 
Comment by Legislators at prior three joint buget hearings as to the need for greater itemization by the Judiciary in its budget:

January 30, 2012 joint budget hearing on "public protection":
video -- at 3:21-3:27; 25:05-27:00
transcript -- at pp. 25-27. 

transcript excerpts: (1) Chief Administrative Judge Prudenti's passing mention of "process for adjusting judicial salaries"; pp. 25-27 exchange with Senator Bonacic on "more itemization from the Judiciary in line items"

February 9, 2011 joint budget hearing on "public protection"
video at 3:16-4:11; 17:54-19:55 ;   transcript -- at pp 23-25; 32-46.;  

transcript excerpt:   Chief Administrative Judge Pfau's thanks Legislature for "judicial compensation law that was recently enacted, with the salary commission"; explanation of Judiciary budget; exchanges with Senator Bonacic; Senator Nozzolio; and Senator DeFrancisco on greater itemization

February 8, 2010 joint budget hearing on "public protection":  
transcript -- at pp. 37-47; 47-52

transcript excerpts:    Chief Adminisrative Judge Pfau's request for judicial supplemental support fund; exchange with Assemblyman Parment on greater itemization in Judiciary's budget; exchange with Senator DeFrancisco on judicial supplemental support fund

 

         note:  also see: Assembly 6-month expenditure reports

 

ON THE STATUTORY LINK BETWEEN JUDICIAL SALARIES & DISTRICT ATTORNEY SALARIES

  see
CJA's October 27, 2011 Opposition Report;  at p. 24
        
-- referred-to September 2, 2011 NYLJ article "Raises for Justices Mean Higher Pay for Some D.A.s"

Testimony of Shaun Byrne, Acting Commissioner of Division of Criminal Justice Services -- & the colloquy between him and then Senator Saland at the January 30, 2012 joint budget hearing on "public protection" --
     video -- at 1:51:40 - 1:51:58  and 1:53:15 - 1:56:50

    transcript at pp. 103; 104-107   

 
          Division of Criminal Justice Services -- 2013 "Yellow Book" summary -- "District Attorney Salary Reimbursement:  "The Executive proposes a total of $3.9 million, an increase of $1.05 million from SFY 2012-13 level, to support the full cost of local district attorney salary increases that are tied to scheduled increases in judicial compensation."
       -- compare to 2012 "Yellow Book" summary -- "The Executive proposes...an increase of $530,000 in General Fund support to provide to counties for costs associated with district attorney salary increases, which would be tied to judicial compensation that is scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2012."

*    *    * 

Post-Hearing Correspondence:


Correspondence with Executive Branch

CJA's February 26, 2013 letter to Budget Director Robert Megna -- "RE: Furnishing the Legislature with Essential Information: (1)   What review did the Division of the Budget do of the Judiciary’s budget for fiscal year 2013-2014?; (2)   What is the Division of the Budget’s response to CJA’s testimony at the Legislature’s February 6, 2013 budget hearing on 'public protection', opposing the Judiciary’s budget and funding for the judicial salary increase?"

Correspondence with Oversight Committees, Legislators & Staff

CJA's February 27, 2013 letter to Senator Liz Krueger's Chief of Staff -- "RE: Memorializing What You Told Me"

CJA's February 27, 2013 e-mail to Senator Liz Krueger -- "Subject: Securing Appropriate Oversight & Action"

"Subject:  Verifying the Dispositive Nature of the February 6, 2013 Opposition Testimony to the Judiciary Budget & Judicial Pay Raises"

CJA's February 27, 2013 e-mail to Senate Finance Committee Majority Coalition Chief of Staff & Secretary Robert Mujica, Counsel to Republican Conference Diane Burman, & Counsel David Gruenberg

CJA's February 27, 2013 e-mail for Senate Finance Committee Democratic Minority Secretary Joseph Pennisi & Democratic Conference Counsel Laura Wood

CJA's February 27, 2013 e-mail for Assembly Ways & Means Committee Democratic Majority Secretary Matt Howard & Counsel Michael Johnson

CJA's February 27, 2013 e-mail for  Assembly Ways & Means Committee  Republican Minority Director Rebecca Dagati & Counsel John Mertz

CJA's February 27, 2013 e-mail to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair John Bonacic & Ranking Member John Sampson

CJA's February 27, 2013 e-mail to Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair Helene Weinstein & Ranking Member Tom McKevitt

CJA's March 4, 2013 e-mail to Assembly Ways & Means Democratic Majority -- "Subject: Assembly Ways & Means Democratic Majority:  Verifying the Dispositve Nature of the February 6, 2013 Opposition Testimony to the Judicial Budget & Judicial pay Raises"

CJA's March 4, 2013 e-mail to Assembly Ways & Means Republican Minority -- "Subject: Assembly Ways & Means Republican Minority:   Verifying the Dispositve Nature of the February 6, 2013 Opposition Testimony to the Judiciary Budget & Judicial pay Raises"

CJA's March 4, 2013 e-mail to Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair Weinstein & Ranking Member McKevitt -- "Subject:  Assembly Judiciary Committee: Verifying the Dispositive Nature of the February 6, 2013 Opposition Testimony to the Judiciary Budget & Judicial Pay Raises"

CJA's March 5, 2013 e-mail to Senate Finance Commitee Majority -- "Subject:  Senate Finance Committee Majority: Verifying the Dispositive Nature of the February 6, 2013 Opposition Testimony to the Judiciary Budget & Judicial Pay Raises"

CJA's March 5, 2013 e-mail to Senate Finance Commitee Minority -- "Subject:  Senate Finance Committee Minority: Verifying the Dispositive Nature of the February 6, 2013 Opposition Testimony to the Judiciary Budget & Judicial Pay Raises"

March 5, 2013 e-mail response from Senate Finance Committee Minority

CJA's March 5, 2013 e-mail to Senate Finance Committee Minority -- "Subject:  Senate Finance Committee Minority Procedures for Enabling Senate Members to Discharge their "Policy Making Role"

FOIL Correspondence
with the Judiciary on its budget

CJA's February 20, 2012 letter to Unified Court System -- "RE: Request for records pertaining to the Judiciary's budgets for fiscal years 2013-2014 & 2012-2013 pursuant to FOIL and 124 of the Chief Administrator's Rules"

Unified Court System's February 20, 2013 e-mail -- "Subject: foil request"

CJA's February 22, 2013 e-mail  to Unified Court System -- "Subject: Furnishing Responsive Documents -- RE: foil request" 

Unified Court System's February 22, 2013 e-mail -- "Furnishing Responsive Documents -- RE: foil request"

Unified Court System's February 22, 2013 e-mail -- "Furnishing Responsive Documents -- RE: foil request"

Correspondence
with the Secretary of the Senate & Assembly Public Info Office on the Legislature's budget

Request #1: 

CJA's February 25, 2013 letter to Secretary of Senate & Assembly Public Information Office:
"RE: The Legislature's Certified Itemized Estimates of its Financial Needs for Fiscal Year 2013-2014, as Required by Article VII, Sec. 1 of the NYS Constitution"

Secretary of the Senate's March 4, 2013 e-mail -- "Subject: Re: Legislature's Certified Itemized Estimates of its Financial Needs: NYS Constitution VII, Sec. 1"

Assembly Public Information Office's March 4, 2013 e-mail -- "Subject: FOIL request re. itemized estimates"
   attachments: (1) December 1, 2012 letter to Governor from Temporary Senate President Skelos & Assembly Speaker Silver;   (2)
Legislative budget request for fiscal year 2013-2014

Request #2

CJA's March 6, 2013 letter to Assembly Public Information Office -- "RE:  Where are the Legislature's Separately Presented 'Fringe Benefit Costs' for Fiscal Year 2013-2014?"

Assembly Public Information Office's March 13, 2013 responding letter

Request #3

CJA's March 6, 2013 letter to Secretary of Senate & Assembly Public Information Office -- "RE: 'Budget Consideration Schedule' and 'Joint Budget Conference Committee" and Subcommittees Thereto, Pursuant to Senate and Assembly Joint Rules"

Assembly Public Information Office's March 7, 2013 e-mail

Secretary of the Senate's March 13 2013 responding e-mail

*    *    * 

March 13, 2013 News Relese of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver:  "Assembly Passes Sunshine Week Legislation to Increase Public Access and Promote Greater Government Accountability"

*    *    * 

find the data: average salary of NYS employees

*    *    * 

CASE STUDY
OF THE PRESS IN ACTION

December 3, 2012 "Court System Submits No-Growth Budget", NYLJ, by John Caher

January 23, 2013:  "Governor Applauds Judiciary's No-Growth Budget as 'Well Done'", NYLJ, by John Caher & Joel Stashenko

CJA's February 5, 2013 e-mail to John Caher, with copy to Joel Stashenko -- "CJA Testifying tomorrow in Opposition to the Judiciary Budget"

February 7, 2013:  "Cutbacks Will Be Felt By OCA, Prudenti Says", NYLJ, by John Caher

CJA's February 15, 2013 e-mail to Joel Stashenko, with copy to John Caher & Kris Fischer -- "Reporting on CJA's challenge to the judicial pay raises -- and the Judiciary's budget"

CJA's March 14, 2013 e-mail to NYT-Hakim, Kaplan, Metro, Editorial: "Citizen Challenge to Judiciary Budget Exposes the Sham of NY's Budget Process & the Hoax of its New Transparency" -- Addendum e-mail

CJA's March 14, 2013 e-mail to AP - Michael Gormley; Michael Virtanen -- "Citizen Challenge to Judiciary Budget Exposes the Sham of NY's budget Process & the Hoax of its New Transparency"

CJA's March 14, 2014 e-mail to David Lombardo/Daily Gazette -- "Citizen Challenge to Judiciary Budget Exposes the Sham of NY's budget Process & the Hoax of its New Transparency"

CJA's March 14, 2014 e-mail to NYLJ - John Caher, Joel Stashenko, Kris Fischer -- "The Legislature's Duty to Reject Judiciary Appropriations Bill S2601-A3001 & its Unidentified Judicial Salary Increases that are Fraudulent, Statutorily-Violative, & Unconstitutional"

 

 

New York Times Topic: NYS Budget

*    *    * 

NEW YORK STATE
BUDGET PROCESS:

NYS Constitution: Article VII, §7: 
"No money shall ever be paid out of the state treasury...except in pursuance of an appropriation by law...and every such law making a new appropriation or continuing or reviving an appropriation, shall distinctly set forth the sum appropriated, and the object or purpose to which it is to be applied; and it shall not be sufficient for such law to refer to any other law to fix such sum"

*    *    * 

1. The Judiciary's Role in the Budget

NYS Constitution: Article VII, §1 
“...Itemized estimates of the financial needs of the legislature, certified by the presiding officer of each house, and of the judiciary, approved by the court of appeals and certified by the chief judge of the court of appeals, shall be transmitted to the governor not later than the first day of December in each year for inclusion in the budget without revision but with such recommendations as the governor may deem proper.  Copies of the itemized estimates of the financial needs of the judiciary also shall forthwith be transmitted to the appropriate committees of the legislature.”

2. The Governor's Executive Budget

NYS Constitution: Article VII, §2
“…the governor shall submit to the legislature a budget containing a complete plan of expenditures proposed to be made before the close of the ensuing fiscal year… It shall also contain such other recommendations and information as the governor may deem proper and such additional information as may be required by law.”

NYS Constitution, Article VII, §3 
“At the time of submitting the budget to the legislature the governor shall submit a bill or bills containing all the proposed appropriations and reappropriations included in the budget and the proposed legislation, if any, recommended therein.
         The governor may at any time within thirty days thereafter and, with the consent of the legislature, at any time before the adjournment thereof, amend or supplement the budget and submit amendments to any bills submitted by him or her or submit supplemental bills.
         The governor and the heads of departments shall have the right, and it shall be the duty of the heads of departments when requested by either house of the legislature or any appropriate committee thereof, to appear and be heard in respect to the budget during the consideration thereof, and to answer inquiries relevant thereto.  The procedure for such appearances and inquiries shall be provided by law.”

 

3. The Legislature's Role in the Budget

NYS Constitution, Article VII, §3 
“...The governor and the heads of departments shall have the right, and it shall be the duty of the heads of departments when requested by either house of the legislature or any appropriate committee thereof, to appear and be heard in respect to the budget during the consideration thereof, and to answer inquiries relevant thereto.  The procedure for such appearances and inquiries shall be provided by law.”

Legislative Law §31
      "Appearances  and  inquiries  in respect to the budget; procedure regulated. The governor and the  heads  of  departments,  divisions  and offices  each shall have the right to appear voluntarily and be heard in respect to the budget  before  the  committees  of  the  houses  of  the legislature to which such budget may be referred under the rules of such houses,  as  herein provided. Such voluntary appearance by the head of a department, division or office may be made either in  person  or  by  an

accredited  representative of the department, division or office. If the governor or the head of any department, division or office shall request a hearing before the committee, in respect to the budget, the  committee shall  notify  him  or  them  of the time or times when the committee is prepared to hear him or them on such voluntary appearance. At  any  time before  the  bills accompanying the budget shall have been reported, the committee to which they were  referred  may  request  the  head  of  any department,  division  or  office,  other  than  the governor, to appear before it, at a time stated or forthwith, and answer relevant  inquiries  in respect to the budget. If, pursuant to section three of article seven of  the  constitution,  a house of the legislature directly requests the head of a department, division or  office  to  appear  before  it  or  a committee  thereof,  to  answer inquiries in respect to the budget, at a time stated or forthwith, the secretary or clerk of such house,  as  the case  may  be, shall notify him of such request and of the time when his appearance is desired, immediately upon the adoption of  the  resolution therefor.  If  the  head  of  a  department,  division  or  office whose  appearance is requested by  such  house  or  committee  be  a  board  or commission,  the  request may be directed to one or more of its members, naming him or them.

Legislative Law §32-a  "Budget; public hearings"
"After submission and prior to enactment of the executive budget, the senate finance committee and the assembly ways and means committee jointly or separately shall conduct public hearings on the budget.  Such hearings may be conducted regionally to provide individuals and organizations throughout the state with an opportunity to comment on the budget.  The committees shall make every effort to hear all those who wish to present statements at such public hearings.  The chairs of the committees jointly or separately shall publish a schedule of hearings."

Legislative law §53 "Budget review process" 
Within  ten days after submission of the budget by the governor pursuant to article seven of the constitution, the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly shall jointly or separately promulgate a schedule for the specific budget-related actions of each house, including but not limited to the following:
   1.  a preliminary response by the houses to the governor's budget submission;
   2.  fiscal committee hearings on the budget, hearings with heads of departments and divisions pursuant to section three of article seven of the constitution, and other actions which may be taken by the fiscal committees, which shall be designed to inform the public of the contents of the governor' budget policy issues relating to such budget and such other information as the senate and the assembly shall jointly or separately determine.  Such hearings and other actions may be conductd jointly or separately;
...4. the dates of the public hearings required by the provisions of section thirty-two-a of this chapter.

Legislative Law §54 "Report on the budget"
      1. Upon passage of appropriation bills by both the senate and the assembly, the  senate  and  the  assembly  shall  issue  either  jointly  or separately a summary of changes to the budget submitted by the governor  in  accordance  with  article  seven  of  the constitution. The summary shall be in such a form as to indicate whether the budget as amended provides that, for the general fund, any changes in anticipated disbursements are  balanced  by  changes  in  anticipated receipts. The summary shall be accompanied by descriptions of changes to both receipts and disbursements in sufficient detail as is necessary to describe legislative action on the governor's budget submission.  The summary shall be in such format as determined by the senate and the assembly, either jointly or separately, and may be issued separately, as part of the report required by section twenty-two-b of the state finance law or may be included  within  the  introductory  memoranda  or  fiscal committee memoranda relating to such legislation or in such other manner as  may  be determined by the senate and the assembly, either separately or jointly.
   
2. (a) The legislature shall enact a budget for  the  upcoming  fiscal year that it determines is balanced in the general fund.   
        
(b) Before voting upon an appropriation bill submitted by the governor and related legislation, as amended, in accordance with article seven of the  constitution,  each house shall place on the desks of its members a report relating to each such bill and, preceding  final  action  on  all such  appropriation  bills and legislation, members shall be so provided with a comprehensive, cumulative report relating to all such  bills  and  legislation.
        
(c)  The reports prepared by each house shall include for the general fund a summary of proposed legislative revisions to the executive budget for the ensuing fiscal year, and shall separately identify  and  present all legislative additions, reestimates and other revisions that increase or  decrease  disbursements,  and  separately  identify  and present all legislative reestimates and other revisions that  increase  or  decrease available resources.  Such report shall, where practicable, display and separately identify and present all legislative additions,  reestimates, and  other revisions that increase or decrease state funds and all funds spending, including an estimate of the impact of the proposed  revisions on local governments and the state workforce.
 

Legislative Law §54-a. Scheduling of legislative consideration of budget bills. 
The legislature shall by concurrent resolution of the senate and assembly prescribe by joint rule or rules a procedure for:
      
       1.  establishing a joint budget conference committee or joint budget conference committees within ten days following the  submission  of  the budget by the governor pursuant to article seven of the constitution, to consider  and reconcile such budget resolution or budget bills as may be passed by each house; and
       2. promulgating a schedule within ten days following the submission of the  budget  by  the  governor  pursuant  to  article seven of the constitution, for considering and acting upon such budget appropriation and related bills which shall include:
            (a) dates for those actions required to be taken  by  the  legislature pursuant to section fifty-three of this chapter;
           
(b)  dates for  public  hearings  on  submissions  by the governor as required by section thirty-two-a of this chapter;
            (c) a date for the establishment of joint budget conference  committee or committees; and
           
(d)  a  date  by  which  such  joint  budget  conference  committee or committees shall issue their final reports.

 

  
ABOUT THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE
& ASSEMBLY WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE

Legislative Law §27
"Appointment  of  secretaries  of  finance  and  ways  and  means committees. The committee on finance of the senate and the committee on ways  and  means  of  the assembly shall serve throughout the year, with power to make, through the chairman  of  the  respective  committees  or through  subcommittees  appointed  by  them,  such investigation of the various activities of the state as will aid them in their consideration of  the budget submitted by the executive and any further appropriations proposed to the legislature. The temporary president of the senate shall appoint a secretary for the senate finance committee and the speaker of the  assembly  shall appoint a secretary for the assembly ways and means committee. Each appointment shall  be  evidenced  by  certificate  duly executed  by the officer making the appointment, and filed in the office of the secretary of state. Such  secretaries  shall  hold  office  until their successors are appointed."

Legislative Law §29
"Subcommittees of finance and ways and means committees. For the purpose of more effectively carrying out the provisions of this article, and  those  of article two of the state departments law, the chairman of the committee on finance appointed under the rules of the senate and the chairman of the committee on ways and means appointed under the rules of the assembly shall have the power to name subcommittees to perform such duties as they may prescribe..."

Legislative Law §30
"Duties of finance and ways and means committees and secretaries.  The committees and their secretaries shall have access at all reasonable times  to offices of state departments, commissions, boards, bureaus and offices, to institutions and to all state authorities and  public  works of  the  state and they may, for the purpose of obtaining information as to the method of operation,  general  condition,  management  and  needs thereof,   examine   the  books,  papers  and  public  records  therein.   Notwithstanding any other  provision  of  law  such state  departments, commissions,   boards,   bureaus,   offices,   state   authorities   and  institutions shall through their proper officers or deputies furnish  to such committees such data, information or statements as may be necessary  for  the  proper exercise of their powers and duties and for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this article. The finance and ways  and  means  committee  in exercising the powers and performing the duties prescribed by this article may act  jointly,  or  separately,  as they deem advisable."

 

ALSO SEE:

2013-2014 Senate Rules
Rule VII, §4c. 
"Committee oversight function. Each standing committee is required to conduct oversight of the administration of laws and  programs by agencies within its jurisdiction." 

CJA's December 3, 2012 letter to Secretary of the Senate -- "RE: (1) Senate Violation of its Rule VII, 4(d) & Rule XIV, §1(a):  Annual Reports of the Senate's 33 Standing Committees; (2) FOIL Request: Senate Judiciary Committee's Annual Reports" 

Secretary of Senate's December 10, 2012 e-mail, with attached 2011 Annual Report for Senate Judiciary Committee 

CJA's December 11, 2012 letter to Secretary of the Senate -- "RE:  CJA's December 3, 2012 letter: (1) Senate Violation of its Rule VII, §4(d) & Rule XIV, §1(a):  Annual Reports of the Senate's 33 Standing Committees; (2) FOIL Request: Senate Judiciary Committee's Annual Reports"

CJA's February 28, 2013 letter to Secretary of the Senate ---- "RE:  Did You Respond to CJA's December 11, 2012 Letter?: (1) Senate Violation of its Rule VIII, §4(d) & Rule XV, §1(a):  Annual Reports of the Senate's 33 Standing Committees; (2) FOIL Request: Senate Finance Committee Annual Reports; 2012-2009; Judiciary Committee Annual Report: 2010"

 

2009 Senate Judiciary Committee Annual Report -- contains four sentences about the Judiciary budget for fiscal year 2009-10-11 & nothing about the judicial salary increase provision within it that would give rise to Pines v. NYS -- with its $51 million liability for the State

2012 Senate Judiciary Committee Annual Report -- contains one sentence about the "Judiciary Budget for State Fiscal Year 2012-2013" --"The Legislature adopted a Unified Court System Budget of $2.55 billion, which reflected an increase of $3.6 million or .14%."


2013-2014 Assembly Rules
Rule IV, §1d:
"..Each standing committee shall, furthermore, devote substantial efforts to the oversight and analysis of the activities, including but not limited to the implementation and administration of programs, of departments, agencies, divisions, authorities, boards, commissions, public benefit corporations and other entities within its jurisdiction..."  

2011 Assembly Judiciary Committee Annual Report

2012 Assembly Judiciary Committee Annual Report 

CJA's February 28, 2013 e-mail to Assembly Public Information Office -- "Where are the Annual Reports of the Assembly Ways & Means Committee?" 

ASSEMBLY RULES:  Rule I: Speaker:

§8. Budget adoption schedule. Within ten days of submission of the budget by the Governor, the Speaker shall promulgate a schedule of dates for consideration and passage of the budget appropriation and related bills. Such dates shall include dates for public hearings on such bills, dates for the issuance of forecasts and dates for the passage of such appropriation bills. Such schedule, to the extent practicable, shall be promulgated jointly with the Temporary President of the Senate. Provided, however, upon the adoption of a budget adoption schedule pursuant to Joint Rule II, the provisions of such Joint Rule shall supercede the provisions of this section.

SENATE & ASSEMBLY JOINT RULE III

§1.  Budget Consideration Schedule.

               In accordance with section 54-a of the Legislative Law, within ten days of the submission of the budget by the Governor pursuant to article VII of the Constitution, the Temporary President of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly shall promulgate a schedule of dates for considering and acting upon such submission.  Such schedule shall include the dates for those actions required to be taken by the legislature pursuant to section 53 of the Legislative Law, dates for the convening of a joint budget conference committee or committees as provided herein, and a date by which such committee or committees shall issue a final report or reports.

§2.
  Joint Budget Conference Committee.

               In accordance with section 54-a of the Legislative Law, within ten days of the submission of the budget by the Governor pursuant to article VII of the Constitution, the Temporary President of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly shall jointly establish a Joint Budget Conference Committee and, as they deem necessary, any number of subcommittees subordinate to such Joint  Budget Conference  Committee, to consider and reconcile such budget resolutions or bills passed by, or as may be passed by, the Senate and Assembly.  Such Joint  Budget  Conference  Committee shall be constituted and conducted as prescribed in Joint Rule II and shall file its written  report in  accord with  the schedule established pursuant to section 1 of this rule.

JOINT RULE II

§1.  Committee  on  Conference. The Temporary President of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly may jointly convene a Joint Committee  on  Conference to consider and report upon substantially similar but not identical legislation that has passed each House of the Legislature. Such committee shall be constituted by the filing of a joint certificate by the Temporary President of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the Assembly, and  shall consist of the same number of members from each House. Unless otherwise provided in the certificate, there shall be  five  members  on such  committee  from each House to be appointed by the Temporary President of the Senate who shall appoint the members from the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly who shall appoint the members from the Assembly; provided, however, that of each House's delegation at least  one  member shall represent the minority in each House. The Temporary President of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly shall each appoint  a  co-chairperson  of the committee and such co-chairpersons shall convene and recess meetings of the committee. Meetings jointly convened by the co-chairpersons shall be subject to the provisions of Article 7 of the Public  Officers  Law.  The  committee shall file a written report setting forth the joint recommendations of a majority of each House's delegation with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the Assembly  or  such other  committees or officers as may be set forth in the certificate and such report may include specific bill language that would implement  the joint  committee's recommendations. No report shall be filed except upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of each House's delegation on the committee.                     

 Joint Legislative Budget Hearings as Posted by Senate Finance Committee - Jan 10, 2013

Senate Majority Press Release:  January 31, 2013: "Skelos, Klein, Silver Anounce Joint Legislative Budget Schedule"

*       *       *

4. The Governor's Role -- again

NYS Constitution, Article VII, §4
"...appropriations for the legislature and judiciary and separate items added to the governor's bills by the legislature shall be subject to approval of the governor as provided in section 7 of article IV."
 

NYS Constitution, Article IV, §7:
"...If any bill presented to the governor contain several items of appropriation of money, the governor may object to one or more of such items whie approving of th other portion of the bill.  In such case the governor shall append to the bill, at the time of signing it, a statement of the items to which he or she objecs; and the appropriation so objected to shall not take effect.  If the legislatur be in session, he or she shall transmit to the house in which the bill originatd a copy of such statment, and the itmes objectd to shall be separately reconsidered.  If on reconsideration one or mor of uch itms be approved by two-thirs of the members elected to each house, the same shall be part of the law, notwithstanding the objections of the governor.  All the provisions of this section, in relation to bills not approved by the governor, shall apply in cases in which he or she shall withhold approval from any item or items contained in a bill appropriating money."

*      *      *

HERE'S HOW THE LEGISLATURE HANDLED THE JUDICIARY'S LAST YEAR'S BUDGET REQUEST: 

IN THE ASSEMBLY --

Assembly Judiciary Committee's 2011 Annual Report: makes NO MENTION of the Commission on Judicial Compensation's August 29, 2011 Report recommending 27% judicial pay raises, whose first phase would take effect, automatically, on April 1, 2012, unless overridden by the Legislature before then  -- see p. 4, "The Judiciary Committee works closely with other committees of the Assembly, including the committees on Rules and Codes, and the Ways and Means Committee with which the Judiciary Committee shares budgetary oversight of the Office of Court Administration ..."  (underlining added).

Assembly Ways and Means "2012 Yellow Book":  see p. 1 of Judiciary Appropriations summary: "The Judiciary’s budget request also provides for a judicial salary increase as determined by the Special Commission on Judicial Compensation."

 


click here for 
"Citizens' Guide to Budget Process"
"User's Guide to Executive Budget Documents"
"Guide to Budget Terms"

*      *      *

 

March 22, 2012 Joint Budget Conference Committee on Public Protection, etc.

March 26, 2012 Joint Budget Conference Committee on Public Protection, etc.

 

*      *      *

Governor's Presentation of Judiciary & Legislative budgets:  fiscal year 1999-2000

Governor's Presentation of Judiciary & Legislative budgets: fiscal year 2000-2001

Governor's Presentation of Judiciary & Legislative budgets:  fiscal year 2001-2002

Governor's Presentation of Judiciary & Legislative budges:  fiscal year 2002-2003

Governor's Presentation of Judiciary & Legislative budgets:  fiscal year 2003-2004

Governor's Presentation of Judiciary & Legislative budgets:  fiscal year 2004-2005

Governor's Presentation of Judiciary & Legislative budgets: fiscal year 2005-2006

Governor's Presentation of Judiciary & Legislative budgets: fiscal year 2006-2007

Governor's Presentation of Judiciary & Legislative budgets: fiscal year 2007-2008

Governor's Presentation of Judiciary & Legislative budgets: fiscal year 2008-2009

Governor's Presentation of Judiciary & Legislature budgets: fiscal year 2009-2010

Governor's Presentation of Judiciary & Legislature budgets: fiscal year 2011-2012

Governor's Presentation of Judiciary budget: fiscal year 2012-2013

 

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click here for: MENU OF CJA's JUDICIAL COMPENSATION WEBPAGES

 

 

  

 

 

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