Editorial: A magnifying glass for NY State spending

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo presents his 2013-14 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo presents his 2013-14 Executive Budget proposal in Albany. The $137 billion state budget that Cuomo proposed Tuesday would increase spending about 2 percent without tax increases, but New Yorkers would feel some fee hikes. (Jan. 22, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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The State Legislature will start hearings Monday to dissect the $142.6-billion executive budget proposed last week by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for 2013-14. But there's a better way than traveling to Albany in winter to find out how your tax dollars are being spent.

A new website launched by Cuomo is filled with all the information and interactive tools needed to track spending, along with charts and historical data. If transparency gives you a buzz, openbudget.ny.gov is the place for you.

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And public interest groups have lost no time using that data to crunch the numbers with a critical eye.

For more, budget watchdog E.J. McMahon's Empire Center for New York State Policy has a standout website showing where the money comes from and where it goes. Find it at seethroughny.net/nysbudget.

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