Assembly Ways and Means Committee Chair Herman D. Farrell, Jr. and Senate Finance Committee Chair John A. DeFrancisco today announced the Joint Legislative Hearing Schedule on the 2015-2016 Executive Budget proposal.
These hearings, each of which focuses on a programmatic area, are intended to provide the appropriate legislative committees with public input on the executive budget proposal. The hearings will be available for viewing on the Senate and Assembly websites. The Legislative Channel (on cable systems throughout the state) also will carry the proceedings, which will be preempted when the houses are in session. At the conclusion of the legislative deliberations, the channel will resume televised coverage of the hearings.
In accordance with the schedule, the hearings will commence on Tuesday, January 27, and continue through Thursday, February 26, 2015. The respective state agency or department heads will begin testimony each day, followed by witnesses who have signed up to testify on that area of the budget. Those testifying must limit comments to no more than 10 minutes.
Time constraints limit the number of witnesses that can be accommodated at any given hearing. As a result, people interested in testifying must contact the appropriate person listed on the schedule no later than the close of business, two business days prior to the respective hearing. For each individual testifying before the committees, it is required that 40 copies of their written testimony be provided to the registration desk at each respective hearing.
The agency and the departmental portion of the hearings are provided for in Article 7, Section 3 of the Constitution and Article 2, Section 31 of the Legislative Law. The state Legislature is also soliciting public comment on the proposed budget pursuant to Article 2, Section 32-a of the Legislative Law.