Voters Reject Budget Reform, Approve Transit Bonds
New York voters soundly rejected a measure that would have substantially altered the state’s budget process, shifting authority from the governor to the Legislature, but approved a bond that will finance statewide transportation projects.
The controversial budget proposal-opposed by Gov. George Pataki and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer—would have amended the state Constitution, creating an Independent Budget Office with members appointed by the Legislature. It also called for a contingency budget based on the previous year that would have gone into effect if the Legislature and governor could not agree on a budget by the beginning of the fiscal year.
The much less contentious transit bond proposal will allow the state to borrow .9 billion to purchase and repair subways, trains, buses, highways and bridges throughout the state. The new debt will be repaid out of the state’s general revenues over several decades. A similar bond measure for .9 billion was rejected by voters in 2000.
Proposition One-Budget Reform Measure: Yes—689,264 (36 percent); No—1,251,703 (64 percent)
Proposal Two-Transit Bonds: Yes—1,092,897 (55 percent); No—886,867 (45 percent)
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