The Armonk Agenda
Next Steps for Fiscal Reform in New York State
On April 7–8, 2006, the Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) convened a conference in Armonk, New York with the goal of identifying widely supported, high-priority measures for fiscal reform in New York State. This document highlights those measures in order to raise awareness and promote discussion of them in the coming year.
The specific areas of reform targeted at the conference were the realignment of state and local fiscal responsibilities in order to lower local government’s tax burdens, changes in debt management in order to lower the State’s debt burden and make more effective use of borrowing, and improvements in the annual budget process in order to make it more accountable, timely and transparent. These topics are the most pressing areas for fiscal reform in New York State.
The goal of the conference was to develop a consensus on priorities for legislative action. Participants in the conference included 150 civic, government, business, and labor leaders from across the state, as well as editorial writers, academics and policy experts. Following panel presentations and small group discussions, the participants were asked to rate the importance of specific policy options. From this voting process 12 high-priority steps emerged – the four policies garnering the most votes in each of the three reform areas constitute the “Armonk Agenda.”