The New York State Capitol in Albany. The State Legislature must...

The New York State Capitol in Albany. The State Legislature must impose a state spending cap, a reader writes. Credit: AP/Hans Pennink

Add state spending cap to avoid cliff

The editorial “State must rein in spending” [Opinion, May 2] cites an Empire Center analysis, noting that state spending has increased a remarkable 33% in just four years. There’s a simple solution to this predicament leading us toward a fiscal cliff. The State Legislature must impose a state spending cap as suggested by our Center for Cost Effective Government years ago.

In 2012, state leaders boasted of a new property tax cap. While the cap was a welcome reform, it only applied to schools and local governments. Not surprisingly, state leaders exempted themselves from spending restraints.

If the State Legislature had to live within the caps it imposed on all the governments in 2012, today’s budget would be $180 billion compared with the outlandish $237 billion the legislature enacted in April.

Our analysis shows that states with spending caps have lower taxes. State leaders should no longer be allowed to tell other governments, “Caps for thee but not for me.”

— Edward J. Kelly Jr., East Islip

The writer is a board member of the Center for Cost Effective Government.

Women need rights amendment passed

The passage of New York’s Equal Rights Amendment, which would include constitutional protections for the rights of New York women to make reproductive health decisions, including abortion, is now endangered because of an extremist judge [“Amendment off the ballot,” News, May 8].

This is a frightening turn of events for New York women who have seen the ramifications of abortion bans sweeping the country. While abortion is legal by statute in New York, we have seen the right to fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization cease in Alabama.

If an Equal Rights Amendment is not passed here, women of this state would not have the ultimate protection that their reproductive rights could not be taken from them by future legislation.

New York women need this protection through the amendment’s passage.

— Pamela Korn, Hewlett

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