Franklin D. Roosevelt as Governor of New York

By Bernard Bellush | Go to book overview

II
"UPSTAIRS IN ALBANY"

The tradition of a strong executive in Albany, initiated by Charles Evans Hughes and Alfred E. Smith, was carried on by Franklin D. Roosevelt in his conflict with the legislature over the issue of the Executive Budget. Within four weeks after taking his oath of office, Roosevelt found himself in a controversy with a recalcitrant legislature which refused to acknowledge that an amendment to the State Constitution had deprived the lawmakers of certain powers of budget-making.

Considered by many political scientists as the most significant of the Governor's executive powers in relation to the legislature, the control of the budget was a question which had plagued executive-legislative relationships in New York since Governor George Clinton.

Today, it is the duty of New York's Governor to develop a financial program, with respect both to revenue and expenditure, to prepare and submit a budget, and to supervise the course of expenditures. While the legislature retains ultimate control of the purse strings, the executive has the fiscal initiative.

This was not the situation, however, at the turn of the century. Until 1900 the Governor had little to do with administration. His secondary position was evident by the large number of independent constitutional officers and independent charitable and correctional institutions. Even the President of the United States was in an inferior administrative position until the twentieth century. With the absence of executive budgets, for example, governmental agencies went directly to the appropriating body, denying chief executives any influence or

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Franklin D. Roosevelt as Governor of New York
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xi
  • A New Governor 3
  • Upstairs in Albany" 37
  • Rebellion Behind Bars 58
  • Parity for the Farmer 76
  • Secure Our Savings" 103
  • To Prevent Starvation and Distress" 126
  • A Battle on Two Fronts 150
  • In Quest of Security" 175
  • I Stand Fairly Well with Labor" 191
  • Power Belongs to the People" 208
  • A Reasonable Return" 243
  • Honest Graft" 269
  • In Retrospect 282
  • Notes 287
  • Index 329
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