Republican members of the New York State Assembly have fired the latest salvo in a debate over Gov. Mario M. Cuomo's $800 million jobs-creating bond act.
In a letter to state Comptroller Edward V. Regan, a Republican, Assembly minority leader Clarence D. Rappleyea writes that "fundamental fiscal reforms are essential" before the lawmakers in the Assembly can support the bond act, which will appear on the November ballot for voter approval.
Cuomo's economic aides say the bond act would bolster the state's foundering economy by immediately creating 25,000 construction jobs, as well as 100,000 jobs before the next century.
But Regan has actively campaigned against passage of the bond act, calling on voters to demand a reduction in the state's use of appropriated debt before voting on the fiscal stimulus measure.
The state has about $17 billion outstanding in appropriated debt, which does not need voter approval, compared with about $5 billion in general obligations bonds, which does.
Rappleyea's letter echoes many of Regan's themes and states that "our citizens have a right to control state borrowing."