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Governor Vetoes Budget Reform, Indian Tax Bills

By Mark Scott

Albany, NY – Governor Pataki Monday vetoed the state Legislature's plan to end Albany's chronically late state budgets.

The Legislature had sought to push the start of the fiscal year to May 1st to give lawmakers more time to adopt a budget. But Pataki said some other provisions in the measure could make things worse. He said he was concerned legislators would disregard the executive budget he releases in January.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said the bipartisan proposal would have reformed a budget process that is simply not working.

"The legislation would have provided for an automatic budget at the start of the fiscal year," Silver said. "It presented a plan by which all sides would have to negotiate a budget or have one imposed on them automatically."

Albany has had 20 consecutive years of late state budgets.

Also Monday, Pataki vetoed a bill that would have required his administration to collect state taxes on sales of tobacco and gasoline by Native American vendors. Pataki says the bill goes against his policy of trying to get Indian nations to voluntarily pay the taxes.