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Supreme Court State of New York

Supreme Court State of New York

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Published by: rkarlin on Dec 24, 2009
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11/06/2010

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SUPREME COURTSTATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF ALBANYDOUGLAS BECKER; BRIAN A. BOYD; GEORGE HEIDCAMPPAUL M. HETLAND; FLORENCE D. JOHNSON; PETER KRUSZYNSKI; KIMBERLY PETRAMALE; HARRY B.REEDE; WAYNE E. SCHLIFKE; SETH TURNER;NEW YORK STATE UNITED TEACHERS, by its president,RICHARD C. IANNUZZI; NEW YORK STATE SCHOOL BOARDSASSOCIATION, by its president, WAYNE SCHLIFKE;SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS ASSOCIATION OF NEWYORK STATE,by its President, PETER KRUSZYNSKI; and the NEW YORK STATE COUNCIL OF SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS,Plaintiffs,-Against-Index No. 10491-09HONORABLE DAVID A. PATERSON, as Governor of the State of New York; THE NEW YORK STATEDIVISION OF THE BUDGET; ROBERT L. MEGNA,As Budget Director for the New York State Divisionof Budget; THE NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF THESTATE COMPTROLLER; and THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI,as Comptroller of the State of New York Defendants.
 _______________________________________________________________________ 
 DEFENDANTS’ MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN OPPOSITIONTO PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
 ANDREW M. CUOMOAttorney General of the State of New York Attorney for DefendantsThe CapitolAlbany, New York Robert SiegfriedStephen M. KerwinKelly L. MunkwitzJustin C. LevinAssistant Attorneys GeneralOf Counsel
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT........................................................................................1STATEMENT OF FACTS.................................................................................................3POINT I: PLAINTIFFS ARE NOT LIKELY TO PREVAIL ON THE MERITS..........15A. The Executive Has Cash Management Authority....................................................171. The Authority to Manage the State’s Cash is Vested in the Executive Branch...172. Matter of County of Oneida v. Berle is Not Controlling ...................................213. The Court Should Exercise Restraint in its Review of the Executive’s OperationalDetermination in this Time of Fiscal Crisis......................................................................24B. The Temporary Reduction of Local Assistance Payments as Part of a CashManagement Strategy to Avoid the State’s Insolvency During a Historic Fiscal CrisisDoes Not Violate the Education Article of the Constitution............................................251. The Plaintiffs Fail To State A Cause of Action Under The Education Article.252. This Matter Is Non-Justiciable..........................................................................29C. The Plaintiffs Fail to State a Claim for Violation of Section 3609-a of theEducation Law..................................................................................................................30D. Mandamus Does Not Lie......................................................................................32E.. Plaintiffs do Not Have Standing to Maintain This Action....................................331. The plaintiff organizations cannot establish standing.......................................332. The individual plaintiffs cannot establish standing..........................................36a. No taxpayer standing....................................................................................37 b. No standing as school board members..........................................................39POINT II: PLAINTIFFS FAIL TO SHOW IRREPARABLE HARM...........................40POINT III: THE BALANCE OF THE EQUITIES FAVORS THE DEFEFNDANTS..42CONCLUSION.................................................................................................................43
 
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT
The State of New York is in the midst of the most serious and sustained economicdownturn since the Great Depression. Although the Governor has taken a series of actions tomanage the fiscal affairs of the State, and although the Legislature has enacted part of theGovernor’s proposed Deficit Reduction Plan, the State is facing what can only be termed a cashcrisis. The issue before the Court centers on one step the Governor has taken to ensure thecontinued provision of government services and avoid the chaos and widespread harm that willinevitably ensue if the cash balance falls to zero. Prior to December 15, 2009, Governor DavidA. Paterson instructed Robert L. Megna, Director of the New York State Division of the Budget,to exercise his lawful authority to manage State expenditures by temporarily delaying hisapproval of a small percentage of certain local assistance payments payable in December 2009.Plaintiffs – a school boards association, a teachers’ union, an association of schoolsuperintendents, and a number of individual taxpayers, teachers, school administrators andschool board members- commenced this action on December 16, 2009 with service of aSummons and Complaint. The Complaint alleges four causes of action: (1) the Director’s actionviolates the constitutional separation of powers; (2) temporary delay of partial payment in Stateaid results in a violation of the constitutional requirement that the State provide a free sound basic education; (3) the temporary delay of payment results in a violation of Education Lawsection 3609-a (1)(a)(4) and section 3609-e (2)(f); and (4) the Director’s actions were ultra vires.Simultaneously, the plaintiffs sought an Order to Show Cause seeking a preliminary injunctionwhich would require the defendants to pay to the school districts the balance of the December 15 payment. The requested Order was signed by the Honorable Michael C. Lynch on December 16,2009 and it requires the defendants to show cause why the requested relief should not be granted.

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