New York’s Budget is Balanced but Without Solid Numbers
It’s safe to say no one is happy with New York State’s new budget, passed a day late and several dollars short.
The Governor had proposed a $178 billion spending plan at the beginning of the year that was looking at a $6 billion deficit. Legislators April 2, a day after the budget was due, were finalizing a much smaller spending plan that had no real revenue coming in from sale taxes with businesses closed over the coronavirus pandemic and health care spending rocketing through the roof.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, however, says the budget is balanced, includes no new taxes and continues to phase in middle class tax cuts. The ledger builds in the ability of the state financial officers to adjust numbers depending on the amount that comes back in once business is restored or federal funding comes in.
The Democrat does not give a total amount of spending in the budget but does authorize a reduction in spending by $10 billion to account for the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Details from the Governor’s office say the budget bans the sales of flavored e-cigarettes and caps insulin co-payments at $100 per month.
Items included in the original proposal that have survived include paid sick leave for working New Yorkers, a permanent ban on hydrofracking and $12-million to update the State’s emergency response capacity through equipment upgrades.
Legal marijuana did not make it into the budget.
The Governor is also getting his idea of adding E Pluribus Unum (out of many, one) to the New York State Coat of Arms.