After the State of the State, in which a governor outlines a wish list of exciting initiatives, editorial writers invariably say, "The devil is in the details." Meaning, it all sounds good, but what's it going to cost? Then we get the budget message that deflates the State of the State rhetoric.
This year is different for a number of reasons, led by the monumental fiscal crisis the state (and everyone else) finds itself. So David Paterson did a smart thing: He offered his Executive Budget today, a full five weeks ahead of the state constitutional required date, and before his State of the State.
Paterson didn't sugar coat this budget. New York is in its worst shape since the Great Depression, so plan accordingly, he said.
And now we'll see how the Legislature responds to the tough medicine.
One thing rank and file lawmakers can't say is that Paterson didn't give them enough time to do their due diligence and still pass a final plan by the spring deadline.
Our editorial board will be commenting in more detail on Paterson's budget on Sunday's Opinion page once it's been more carefully reviewed. But for now, we applaud the governor's resolve and timing.