Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt (R,I,C-Greenwood Lake) today voted against the first 2013-14 state budget bill, known as the debt service bill. Citing the $57.6 billion in current outstanding state debt for fiscal year 2013-14 and no sign yet of the total 2013-14 budget proposal, the Assemblywoman said she could not support the bill.“The state debt for the next fiscal year amounts to roughly $2,940 per person. Our state ranks 5th in the nation for highest state debt per person. I don’t know many people in Orange and Rockland counties who have an extra three grand laying around. Our state needs to realize that government must live within its means,” said Rabbitt. “What’s worse is that we have only seen this one budget bill – we’re still negotiating the actual budget. It’s not responsible to be issuing or authorizing debt when we don’t even know what we’re using it for.”

The state has approximately $1.44 billion in debt issuance available for 2013-14 before reaching its debt cap. Since 2002-03, state-funded debt has increased by $24.3 billion, or 62.2 percent. When last calculated in 2011-12, total outstanding authority debt was approximately $243.7 billion.

Despite an effort by the “three men in a room” to have the budget passed by this Thursday (tomorrow), only the debt service bill has been printed. Under the New York State Constitution, bills must “age” three days before they can be voted on, unless the governor calls for a message of necessity to bypass the aging process. The aging process gives lawmakers and the public the opportunity to review and vet legislation before it is called up for a vote. The state budget deadline is April 1, 2013.