New York State Budget

Gov. 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?”

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.

  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.

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