State budget

The state legislature has finished its hearings on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal, and will be ready to start crafting a spending plan once they return from the President’s Day break. One of the final hearings focused on the governor’s tax cutting plans, and lawmakers had plenty of questions.

Legislators at the hearing quizzed Cuomo’s tax commissioner on a plan that could result in a freeze of local property taxes. Tax Commissioner Thomas Mattox admits it’s a complex plan.

“This is clearly a very complicated space,” Mattox said.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo releases his state budget proposal Tuesday afternoon, and many will be watching to see what it contains and how the numbers will work.

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Correction officers say they are still in shock after Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s prison agency announced late on a July Friday - and with very little advance warning - their decision to close four prisons within the next year. Now, they're asking the legislature to rescind the closures.

Normally, when a governor wants to close a prison or any other state run facility, he proposes the change in his state budget plan in January. The legislature either agrees or disagrees, and a final decision to close or to keep the facility open is made in the completed state spending plan.

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New York has been labeled a "leading" state for effective use of cost-benefit analysis in a new study from the Pew-MacArthur Results First initiative. That means New York is doing a better job of making sure tax dollars are spent well, than other states.

Cost benefit analysis is determining the return on an investment. In this case  it's determining how much the taxpayer benefits from each public dollar spent.

An on-time state budget is good news for school districts across the state, as they plug in the hard numbers to proposed budgets. 

Funding for a program to promote locally grown produce through a network of duty-free stores across New York has been axed from the final version of the state's budget.

It's known as the “three men in a room” style of decision making. For decades now, the governor and the two party's legislative leaders meet behind closed doors in the governor’s offices and decide key issues, like the contents of the state budget.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he is unlikely to send an emergency message that would allow state lawmakers to bypass a three-day waiting period for the state budget.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made several changes to his budget plan in what are called 30-day amendments. These amendments range from imposing a teacher evaluation plan on schools in New York City, to cutting the cost of hunting licenses.

Profits on Wall Street are going to be up this year, according to a new report from the New York state comptroller, but are still below their pre-recession highs. The report also finds fewer job losses in the securities industry, and many economic uncertainties ahead.

Top state officials say it is going to be another difficult year for the state budget. Governor Andrew Cuomo has already told state agencies to keep spending flat, and those that depend on state programs are not counting on big increases.

Former Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch has been called a Renaissance Man, and Mr. Fix-It.

He was intimately involved in the fiscal turnaround for New York City during the 1970s and 1980s, and in 2009 Governor Paterson named him as Lieutenant Governor in the hopes that he could improve the state’s budget process.

Now, he’s chairing Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner’s Municipal Financial Advisory Board, to advise the mayor on dealing with the city’s fiscal problems.

Governor Cuomo, in his first day on the job back on January 1st of this year, laid out his position on raising taxes pretty clearly.

“I say no new taxes, period,” Cuomo said on January 1.

 

The governor was answering a question from reporters, in his first media availability as governor, on whether he would support continuing the current surcharge on New Yorkers making $200,000 and up, which includes millionaires and multi-millionaires, when it expires December 31st.  Cuomo expanded on his view point during that session on January 1st.

Governor Cuomo’s budget office is released some bad news Monday. The state’s budget gap is even bigger than expected, with a $350 million dollar shortfall for the current year and a $3.5 billion dollar gap next year.