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Abstract

An examination of the history of budget-making in the City of New York will show that the City has never operated from a sound, comprehensive budget system. That does not mean that the City has proceeded irresponsibly, or without regulation. Statutes to control the budget have existed in New York City since at least the beginning of the nation itself. And, most commendably, those very first statutes show a proper concern by the City for the needs of all its citizens. The difficulty has been, rather, the lack of a comprehensively drafted body of law to handle, as an integrated whole, all aspects of City budgeting. Consequently, it has always been possible to defeat, at least to some extent, some budgetary controls. The purpose of this Article is to examine in detail the history of the budget process in order to determine the extent to which the enacting of a budget by the City legislature is, in effect, illusory, and, in so doing, to assemble in one place the current legal materials relating to the appropriations side' of the New York City expense budget.

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