New York Gov. David Paterson plans to veto a bill that would allow Erie County to sell bonds without getting approval from its financial control board.
Paterson in a meeting with the Buffalo News editorial board last week stated his intention to veto the bill, which passed the state Legislature this year. He also said he would veto another bill that would reduce the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority’s status to an advisory role.
“I think the control boards have been effective,” he told the Buffalo News. “I think the control boards should continue.”
The veto would be a blow to Erie County officials who have engaged in an acrimonious dispute with the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority over which entity should be allowed to borrow much-needed capital funds. Neither can borrow without the other’s consent.
The control board has argued that it should sell bonds for the county because it would be cheaper with the board’s higher rating.
County Executive Chris Collins and Comptroller Mark Poloncarz have argued that as long as the county has an investment-grade rating it should be able to borrow. Collins has said that the control board will never be allowed to sell long-term debt.
A Buffalo public radio station reported that the control board’s chairman, Anthony Baynes, has cast doubt on whether a compromise allowing either the board or the county to sell $63.1 million of bond anticipation notes based on cost savings was still on the table.
Standard & Poor’s upgraded Erie County two weeks ago to BBB-plus from BBB and assigned a stable outlook.