Cuomo’s Budget Could Fill In Blanks
Gov. Andrew Cuomo will submit his third budget proposal for the coming 2013-14 fiscal year, a document that will provide insight into how he plans to fund proposals made in his State of the State address earlier this month.
The proposed spending plan could fill in some very big blanks, and not just from the State of the State.
Budgets are meant to be the road map for a governor’s real priorities. While the State of the State is about rhetoric, the budget is about numbers and money, which tend to matter a lot more.
Cuomo faces a budget deficit of nearly $1 billion, a figure that was provided before the impact of Superstorm Sandy was fully assessed by the Division of Budget.
The state’s fiscal picture is also not necessarily what’s happening in Albany, but more broadly the troubles facing local governments across New York.
Cities, ranging from Long Beach on Long Island, Yonkers in Westchester and Syracuse, the hometown of Cuomo’s hand-picked Democratic co-chairwoman Stephanie Miner, all face financial straights and the ongoing threat of a fiscal control board.
If, as Jim Odato suggests in the TU today that Cuomo will push for broad mandate reform, he risks either committing too much money from the state or upsetting organized labor (though he could make business groups, possibly unhappy over the proposed hike in the minimum wage, very happy).
And then there’s education, one of the most expensive items in the state budget, second only to health care.
Cuomo will have to provide details on how he’ll pay for his proposed universal pre-Kindergarten programs, as well as either an extended school day or year.
Hindering what Cuomo do this year — the final budget proposal he makes before he presents one in a re-election year — is continued slow growth and tax revenue.
It’s likely that the state won’t make its projected tax revenue targets by the time the fiscal year ends.
Cuomo’s budget address is scheduled for 2 p.m. at The Egg on Tuesday.
The spending plan comes after the state faced a gap of $10 billion in Cuomo’s first budget year, but he managed to close it mostly through spending cuts and an influx of new revenue.
His second gap was cleaved after Cuomo engineered an overhaul of the state’s tax code in December 2011 that partially kept a tax on high-income earners, while providing a tax cut for middle-income earners.
“We’re in a bit of a turnaronud situation,” said Betsy Lynam of the Citizens Budget Commission. “We came into a very difficult place two years ago with the Great Recession. They brought those gaps down, we’ve had two years of low growth.”
Cuomo has pledged to keep spending within a self-imposed 2 percent limit and won’t push for a broad-based tax increase.
But complicating matters is that the legislative session is working through an expedited schedule.
The fiscal year ends March 31, but because of Passover they aren’t scheduled to be in Albany passed March 21.
Cuomo has had a streak of the Legislature approving on-time budgets since taking office.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on January 21, 2013 at 5:27 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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