Better late than never?
When it comes to New York state's budget, well, we're not absolutely sure.
About the only thing certain about the legislative circus that resulted Tuesday night in the Senate passage of a $136.5 billion budget is that it avoided setting a record for tardiness.
As it was, when the smoke (and mirrors) finally cleared, the budget was 125 days late, a scant eight days shy of the Aug. 11 record of shame established in 2004.
Were all this year's negotiations, hand-wringing, posturing and name-calling worth the result, which increases state spending by 2.4 percent?
That depends on your viewpoint.
With Democrats in control of the governor's mansion, the Senate and the Assembly, they certainly should have been able to get things done with more alacrity.
In a way, it's hard to argue with the statement Tuesday by Republican leader Sen. Dean Skelos after the final portion of the budget was passed, 32-28, without a single Republican vote.
"Today, Senate Democrats finished voting on a budget that raises taxes by nearly $4 billion," Skelos said. "Today's action also completes one of the latest budgets in state history. What did taxpayers get as a result? They got higher spending and more taxes, but not a single initiative to create any new jobs or improve New York's economy."
Of course, the Republicans _ reflecting the tactics of their party colleagues in Congress _ are anything but blameless. Even in the minority, they have a responsibility to help govern rather than to just say no to everything and then second-guess legislation passed by the Democrats.
Gov. David Paterson, for his part, seemed relieved to finally get the budget out of the way as he prepares to leave office at the first of the year.
"Today the state finalized a budget that closes a $9.2 billion budget gap," said Morgan Hook, Paterson's communications director. "This was done primarily through spending cuts and with no borrowing."
Hook, however, may be a bit too optimistic.
"A fiscally responsible budget," he said, "will help our state turn the corner on this economic crisis and put us on a path to recovery."
That, of course, is yet to be seen.
From a local standpoint, we are disappointed that a bill that would have given the State University system more control over how much it charges for tuition didn't even get to a vote.
The SUNY colleges in Oneonta, Delhi and Cobleskill and their students would have benefited from passage of the bill.
We hope it passes next year ... and not 125 days late.
Better late than never?
In our opinion: Take pipeline's money with grain of salt
Far be it for us to believe that the $287,000 in 18 grants recently doled out to local organizations by the planners of the proposed Constitution Pipeline project came from anywhere but the goodness of their hearts.
In Your Opinion: Gibson is the 'out-of-touch' candidate
I appreciate the fact that Chris Gibson has served his country well in the military, but I find his statement that Sean Eldridge is an "out-of-touch candidate" to be ludicrous. Gibson lost touch with our world when he went to college (age 17 with ROTC scholarship) joined the military, retired with a pension in 2010 and the same year became our representative (not much time for a normal job). From college on to today, he has been living on taxpayers' dollars and he wants to continue this career.
In Our Opinion: HOF Weekend should be outstanding
We're usually wary about being accused of boosterism, but we can't help but feel excited about this year's Baseball Hall of Fame Weekend.
In Your Opinion: Fracking would be disaster for our water
Another small victory for us, the anti-frackers. Maybe New York state is a leader in this environmental fiasco?
In Our Opinion: No right answers for funding campaigns
So -- hypothetically speaking, of course -- how should a political candidate go about funding his or her campaign?
In Your Opinion: Guard has a role to play at border
I was surprised and disappointed to read The Daily Star editorial July 21. Surprised by both the apparent misunderstanding of what the National Guard offers in terms of humanitarian relief and security force augmentation, and disappointed by the condescending tone of the piece, which is an outlier in the otherwise noteworthy work of the Editorial Board.
- Thursday, July 24, 2014
In Our Opinion: LGBT order was meaningful step
"Gender isn't an either/or proposition. There are lots of different ways of expressing oneself."
In Your Opinion: Accusations about Gibson out of line
I was very upset when I received a call making ridiculous accusations against Congressman Chris Gibson. I am a combat Marine veteran, and this really got under my skin. Congressman Gibson has done so much for us in Delaware County. I asked myself, why would this billionaire Sean Eldridge call Gibson's supporters and begin a false and negative campaign against him? I don't know what the polls are, but he must be desperate.
- Wednesday, July 23, 2014
In our opinion: Donating blood is an act of altruism
So, the Red Cross folks want you to donate some of your blood.
In Your Opinion: Eldridge a better choice for House
The editorial of July 21 is easily commented upon: You say that Sean Eldridge "didn't offer any solutions." But wait! Mr. Eldridge IS THE SOLUTION!
- Tuesday, July 22, 2014
In Our Opinion: Cheers
To summer reading programs, farmers' market coupons, and free energy assessments and improvements.
In Your Opinion: Obama should heed words of wisdom
I commend to President Barack Obama today's quote in your newspaper: "A man must be both stupid and uncharitable who believes there is no virtue or truth but on his own side." -- Joseph Addison
In Your Opinion: 'Blessed' or not, transgender is still wrong
Recently, The Star found it necessary to use its front page to herald the coming out of a so-called transgendered individual. The blessedness of his situation was pronounced by a Universalist so-called reverend.
- Monday, July 21, 2014
In our opinion: Gibson, Eldridge offer no solutions
Those who read our interview last week with the Republican and Democratic candidates who want to represent the citizens of New York's 19th Congressional District in 2015 probably wondered what in the world those two guys were talking about.
In Your Opinion: Bear hunters should follow the rules
I would like people to be informed about the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Black Bear Management Plan for New York State, 2014-2024.
- Saturday, July 19, 2014
In Our Opinion: For some, there is such a thing as a free lunch
Three square meals a day.
In Your Opinion: Loud motorcycles are a good thing
This is a reply to a letter in the Weekend July 12 and 13 edition on motorcycle noise.
- Friday, July 18, 2014
In our opinion: Hamas is the one that wanted this conflict
Let us state first and foremost that the conflict between Israel and Hamas is a tragedy, and like so many other tragedies of this sort, was an avoidable one.
In Your Opinion: Restore Medicare Advantage funding
I just celebrated my 84th birthday, and I'm happy to say I'm still very healthy and independent. In fact, I haven't been in the hospital since I was born. I count myself as fortunate, but I rely on my Medicare Advantage health plan through Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) to be there for me when I need it.
- Thursday, July 17, 2014
In Our Opinion: Scarzafava typified best of legal profession
In an era when lawyers have become punch lines for politicians and comedians, John Scarzafava was different. He was the kind of lawyer who gave lawyers a good name.
- In our opinion: Take pipeline's money with grain of salt