New York State Budget

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

  Governor Andrew Cuomo began the budget season with an ambitious agenda than included a wide array of items that he tied to the budget, including raising the minimum wage, the Dream Act, and reforming the state’s grand jury process. In the end, the governor was forced to retrench on nearly every measure.

Cuomo spent a week in January rolling out his ambitious budget agenda, which contained plans for a new criminal justice system for teens who commit serious crimes, and a major upstate economic development program.  

The state Assembly, Senate and Governor Andrew Cuomo continue to work on sticking points in the state budget, as yet another item has now been dropped from the spending plan, raising the state’s minimum wage.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos emerged hopeful from a closed door meeting with Republican Senators. The Senate and Governor Cuomo have been at odds over ethics reform, including requiring financial disclosure of Senators’ law clients in their outside jobs as private attorneys.

The leader of the New York State Senate says raising the minimum wage is now out of the state budget, setting up a potential conflict with the state assembly as the budget deadline draws near.

Add the minimum wage to a growing list of items that have been dropped from the state budget.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who’s been against Governor Cuomo’s proposal to further increase the minimum wage to $11.50 downstate and $10.50 upstate, says the proposal won’t be part of the final state spending plan. And he questions

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature are considering a  commission to design a new teacher evaluation plan, in order to break an impasse over the state budget. But even some lawmakers admit that the compromise is just kicking the can down the road.

Cuomo has demanded that education policy changes be passed along with the state budget, or he’ll hold up school aid increases.

flickr.com

With just over a week until the state budget is due, there’s pressure to drop a number of unrelated items in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s state spending plan.

Cuomo has tied ethics reform and education policy changes to the budget, and threatened to hold up the spending plan if the legislature does not agree.  


 The pace is picking up at the state Capitol.  The budget is scheduled to be approved by April 1st.  In order to meet that deadline, the state Senate and the state Assembly are likely to advance their own one-house budget plans this upcoming week.  A week after that, both houses should begin a joint conference committee process to work out their differences while they negotiate with the governor.

Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

  The state budget could end up in court under some scenarios, as state lawmakers are discussing possible legal action against Governor Cuomo’s budget, and his proposal to link a number of unrelated items, like ethics reform and education changes, to the spending plan.

..::WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas::..

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is taking credit for the state budget’s turn around from huge gaps to healthy surpluses, but a watchdog group says Cuomo is relying on future funds that have not yet materialized.

Cuomo often lists his achievements as governor when he gives speeches, and he likes to recount how he turned the state’s finances around, as in his Inaugural address earlier this year.

“We turned a $10 billion dollar deficit into a $5 billion dollar surplus,” Cuomo said on January 1st.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Members of Rebuild NY Now, a broad-based coalition seeking to raise awareness about the state’s infrastructure needs, spoke at the Albany County Office Building Tuesday.

Local elected officials, members of organized labor, local Chambers of Commerce and representatives of private businesses gathered to bring attention to New York's crumbling highways and aging bridges, in efforts to underline their cause: convince the state to use its $5 billion budget surplus from recent settlements against overseas banks to fund infrastructure projects.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

    Governor Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly threatened to hold up the state budget over ethics reform and other issues, like education policy. Now, a poll finds that voters would rather that the budget be on time. The spending plan is due March 31st and lawmakers return to Albany Wednesday to begin several weeks of negotiations.

Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his joint State of the State and budget message, proposing a $141.6 billion spending plan that in part sets up a show down with teachers and education advocates.

The governor wants 100 more charter schools and an overhaul of teacher evaluations, which he says are “baloney,” because virtually all teachers are rated as adequate.

“98 percent of the teachers rated effective,” Cuomo said. “Who are we kidding, my friends?”

The New York state Capitol
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

The New York State Legislature convened last week for its six-month session. Area lawmakers have varying hopes and expectations for 2015.

Another session is under way, but off to a slow start resulting from Governor Andrew Cuomo's decision to move the State of the State address back two weeks following the death of his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

  When Governor Andrew Cuomo gives his budget address on Wednesday, the state will begin the year with a $5 billion dollar surplus, a big change after years of budget deficits.

When Cuomo first came into office, the state was facing a $10 billion budget gap. Now, in 2015 the state has a $5 billion surplus, the largest since the 1940s.  The money is a one time windfall from various bank settlements, over charges of improprieties during the financial crisis.

Tax Credits/flickr

  Lawmakers returning to Albany in January are expected to focus on financial matters such as how to spend New York's $5 billion bank settlements windfall.  

The Assembly is controlled by downstate Democrats, while upstate and Long Island Republicans dominate the Senate.

Ongoing stalemates are likely to continue on social issues such as abortion rights, campaign finance reform and raising the minimum wage.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A Group lobbying to 'Rebuild NY Now' with state windfall funds brought its campaign to Albany Monday.  Rebuild NY Now is a coalition with a mission: to raise public awareness about the issues impacting New York State's infrastructure, with its eye on $5 billion - described as "unexpected cash" - a “windfall” of revenue from recent settlements against overseas banks to pay for infrastructure upgrades.

New York state agencies racked up more than $316 million in overtime in the first six months of 2014, continuing a recent trend of sharply higher overtime costs for taxpayers.

The startling numbers come from a mid-year report issued Tuesday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who says the increase is troubling and should be addressed.  Spending has skyrocketed $22 million over the same period in 2013.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders are touting the virtues of the newly enacted state budget, but the spending plan has its share of critics.

Lawmakers In Hurry To Beat Budget Clock

Mar 31, 2014

Lawmakers hurried to complete work on the state budget before the midnight deadline, but the spending plan is not without some controversy.


Once the state's political leaders got past the congratulatory "atta-boys" and backslapping on their most recent effort to reform Albany, the public was left to dig through the details of the legislative agreement.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have finalized the details on a $138 billion dollar state budget and say they are on track to meet the April 1 deadline. The budget includes a multi step plan that could  lower property taxes, $340 million dollars for schools to start pre-K programs, and a limited test program for public campaign financing.

No Details, But Budget Deal Expected Soon

Mar 27, 2014
New York State Capitol
flickr

Legislative leaders in Albany say they expect to have a deal on the state budget by the end of the day, but are revealing no details.

New York State lawmakers say it’s likely the state budget will include a moratorium on the effects of school exams administered in connection with the controversial Common Core learning standards.

New York Lawmakers Closer To Budget Agreement

Mar 25, 2014
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York legislative leaders say they are working together and are close to a budget agreement, after a blowup that left the Senate and Assembly leaders negotiating separately with Governor Andrew Cuomo.

flickr.com

The budget being negotiated in Albany will establish not only how much state aid school districts will receive, but it also could affect the age many kids start going to school, when they begin standardized tests and even influence whether they go to public or private school.

Education issues are prominent this budget season in Albany. This includes the pre-kindergarten debate prompted by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and a tax credit advocated this week by Cardinal Timothy Dolan that could boost Catholic school attendance.

AP File Photo

Budget negotiations are expected to get serious at the New York State Capitol this week, with the spending plan due at the end of the month.

The Senate and Assembly are due to put out their one house budget resolutions on Wednesday, the first step toward reaching a final deal with Governor Andrew Cuomo later this month.

There are a number of unresolved issues, including how to pay for and structure a plan to provide universal pre-kindergarten to New York’s four-year-olds. A multi-step plan proposed by Governor Cuomo to freeze property taxes has faced skepticism.   

Karen DeWitt

  The deadline for the state budget is approaching, and education issues are taking center stage. One day before massive rallies for universal pre-K and charter schools, other advocates say they’ve gathered evidence for potentially another lawsuit for more state aid for schools.

The Alliance for Quality Education has been touring schools around the state to document what they say is erosion in districts in economically depressed areas.

NYS Lawmakers To Hold Budget Meeting In Rockland

Feb 20, 2014
Tax Credits/flickr

Some New York state lawmakers are hosting their annual state budget meeting in Rockland County Thursday afternoon.

Blair Horner: The Budget Battle Begins

Jan 20, 2014

The New York State budget fight begins this week with the governor offering his budget plan.  The governor’s budget will be massive – probably $135 billion of spending.  Over 95 percent of it will become law without much fuss.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is on a statewide tour to promote the newly passed state budget, saying it shows that the state is functional again. But not everyone is completely convinced.
 
Governor Cuomo has been touring major upstate regions, promoting the passage of the third on time or early budget in a row. In Buffalo, he held up a hockey puck as a prop, comparing the achievement to hockey’s “hat trick”.

Blair Horner: The Budget Wraps Up

Apr 1, 2013

The 2013-2014 state budget was approved last week, marking the third on-time budget in a row.  Three on-time budgets haven’t occurred in a generation, so there was a lot of back-slapping and “at-a-boys” at the Capitol.

Pages