The deputy leader of the state Senate said 2018 will be a difficult year for balancing the state budget.
Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, predicted cutbacks in health care spending to help close a multibillion-dollar deficit.
DeFrancisco said the state’s $4.4 billion projected deficit, combined with potential effects of the federal tax overhaul on New York, will make the next state budget the most difficult one in at least seven years.
“It’s going to be a horrible budget,” DeFrancisco said.
The Republican senator said he doesn’t believe that education funding, one of the largest areas of the budget, is at risk. But he said the state should consider paring down some of its health care benefits.
“We’re very generous,” he said. “But you cannot keep doing that indefinitely, especially when you have a bad year.”
He said New York’s Medicaid budget is bigger than that of California and Texas.