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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Governor Paterson Vetoes Needed Services, Gives Money To Charter Schools Instead

C'mon, New Yorkers, where is your outrage? Peterson gives $42 million to charter schools and takes funding away from our senior centers, libraries, day care centers and other needed services?

Yucky, really, really yucky.

Write your legislators/senators/representatives and voice your concern. Now.

City charter schools are big winners in veto by Gov. Paterson
Friday, July 9th 2010

ALBANY - A surprising budget veto Thursday by Gov. Paterson means more money for city charter schools.

Paterson - as part of his ongoing battle with the Legislature over the state budget - vetoed an education bill that also capped how much school districts had to pay charters per student.

With the cap lifted, the cash-strapped city now must fork over an additional $42 million to charter schools.

Paterson said he had to veto the measure - which spells out how the state spends its education dollars - because the Legislature snuck in a provision that would have forced him to increase total school aid by $419 million, despite his objections.

Charter school advocates were elated, saying the extra money creates more equity with the public schools. But critics say the veto will only hurt an already underfunded school system.

"They are going to have to take some of that money out of (public school) classrooms and into charter schools," said Billy Easton of the Alliance for Quality Education.

Gov. Paterson: Here are those 6,700 vetoes I promised
Thursday, July 8th 2010, 4:00 AM

ALBANY - Gov. Paterson put his vetoes in the hands of the Legislature on Wednesday.

Paterson, almost daring the Legislature to try and override him, made good on his promise to reject lawmakers' added spending and sent nearly 6,700 signed veto documents to the Assembly and Senate.

"We are not negotiating," said Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook. "These vetoes have been this point, what needs to happen is that the Senate needs to pass a revenue bill and then the budget is complete."

Hook said the vetoes, combined with the yet-to-be adopted revenue bill, will keep the 2010-11 budget balanced.

The vetoes - each individually signed by Paterson - nixed more than $705 million that lawmakers had added to the spending plan, including $419 million in education aid and $180 million in lawmaker's prized pork projects.

Pork items slashed included:

- $670,000 for the Ridgewood-Bushwick Senior Citizens Council.

- $640,000 for the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.

- $224,757 for the Brooklyn Public Library.

Legislative leaders blasted Paterson's vetoes, but stopped short of promising to deliver the votes to override them.

It is time to open New York State government and shine some lights on the flow of money to/from elected - and appointed - officials. See below.

Paterson vetoes open government, again
by: simonstl
Wed May 13, 2009 at 12:15:26 PM EDT

Sorry, Governor - you've now lost my sympathy completely. First there was this veto of a bill that would have helped people understand meetings, and now he vetoed this:

Strengthens the open meetings law by providing two alternatives to court invalidation of an action taken when any aspect of a meeting is closed in violation of the law: first, a court may stay the implementation of an action taken at such a meeting and remand the action to the public body for reconsideration and second, a court may, upon finding a violation of law, impose a fine of up to five hundred dollars on the public body.

Maybe he didn't think the $500 fine large enough? Somehow I don't think that's the problem.

I remember Paterson speaking on the need to open government to citizens and voters, and how the Republican State Senate was such a barrier. He didn't mention that he was planning to take over as barrier.

We lost a lot more with Spitzer than I realized at the time.

Update: More here. I'm still not impressed. Of course the $500 would come out of taxpayer dollars. That might, you know, lead taxpayers to think about their government's operation a bit more. Geez...
simonstl :: Paterson vetoes open government, again

Paterson’s veto message for open meetings expansion
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 12:41 PM by Irene Jay Liu in General

Gov. David Paterson’s veto message against the expansion of the open meeting law (A2046-A) can be found here. [From the Editor: Joel Klein and the members of the Panel For Educational Policy have been violating Open Meetings Law since 2002]

In the veto message, Paterson applauds legislators for taking on the “important issue” of ensuring compliance to the provision of the Open Meetings Law, but says that the bill has “significant technical flaws, and is opposed by every major local government group, including the Association of Towns, the School Boards Assocation, the New York Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials and the New York State Association of Counties, as well as the Division of the Budget and the Department of Health.”

In particular, Paterson says by allowing judges to impose a civil penalty of a maximum of $500 for non-compliance, it would ultimately place the burden on the public body, because the penalty would be paid with taxpayer dollars. He said he was also concerned about the burden the bill would place on local government.

Paterson said he has directed his staff to work with the bill’s sponsors to address the concerns and aims to reach an agreement on the bill by the end of session.

“Conversations between the Governor’s staff and legislative staff have already begun. Once these concerns have been addressed, Governor Paterson looks forward to signing this bill during the current legislative session,” said Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook.

Open government? Nah.
by: simonstl
Sat Sep 06, 2008 at 11:33:12 AM EDT

I know everyone's excited about primaries right now, but it's time to pause for a WTF moment from Governor Paterson's busy veto pen:

Another bill the governor vetoed would have forced agencies to make relevant documents available to the public three days before open meetings, or as soon as practical. In a written explanation, the governor said the bill would "seriously disrupt the work of boards and commissions in the days immediately preceding an important scheduled meeting."

The bill has long been pushed by Robert Freeman, the director of the Committee on Open Government, which is part of the executive branch but operates somewhat independently.

"We've been proposing this legislation for years and years and years, and all of a sudden it was approved by both houses this year," Mr. Freeman said, adding that he was disappointed by the governor's veto.

"Why should it be difficult to have these records available to the public?" he said. "We're talking about documents that are either accessible to the public under the Freedom of Information Law, or which serve as proposals in the nature of resolutions, laws, rules, regulations, policies or amendments."

I mean, everyone loves to show up at a meeting and have to read through fifty pages of documents during the meeting, right? We all have iPhones for instant quick referencing to related material, right?

It's really hard for me to imagine what on earth the governor thinks he's doing here. If there is a faster way to aggravate people who've pushed for reform at the local level, I'm hard-pressed to find it.

I'm with the Governor on our financial position, but between this and the the veto that lets authorities keep their employees silent (same article, bottom), I'm rapidly losing faith in his wisdom about how government should operate.

Maybe it's time for an "Open Government" fusion party?