This article argues that the recent financial difficulties of New York City, Cleveland and other financially strapped municipalities demonstrate the need for the preparation and maintenance of balanced budgets and effective monitoring of local budget planning and administration. The article examines the City Bar Association Committee on Municipal Affairs' proposed revision of the existing debt limits, exclusion in the New York Constitution of a provision mandating localities to adopt and maintain balanceed budgets and the establishment of a state-operated fiscal monitoring system to supplant the traditional approach to budgetary control in light of the monitoring systems employed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The article conclude that the proposal is an important step forward, but only the first step in reforming the system.



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