This is only the latest instance in which politics seem to be taking precedence over public interest at a consumer-focused regulatory agency.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan for allocating $5.4 billion in windfall funds has survived, almost intact, in the agreed-upon New York State budget for the 2016 fiscal year, which starts April 1.
Consistent with Cuomo’s original vision, the final plan shortchanges basic transportation and municipal infrastructure.
The Legislature is on the verge of following Governor Cuomo's lead by making three big moves in the wrong direction.
As part of his plan for allocating $5.4 billion in one-shot windfall funds, Governor Cuomo wants to spend $500 million to expand the availability and capacity of broadband Internet access across New York. But given pressing traditional infrastructure needs, should broadband rate a high priority? Do we really need it? The governor's case, on closer inspection, is less than compelling.
Governor Cuomo repeatedly has said that the state’s unprecedented $5.4 billion cash windfall is a “one shot” that should not be spent on recurring expenses such as school aid or agency operations. Yet his proposed budget language might allow him to do just that.
Gov. Cuomo’s combined State of the State message and Executive Budget rollout this week showcased the governor at his best — and worst.
One of the biggest questions heading into New York’s fiscal 2016 Executive Budget presentation was how Governor Andrew Cuomo would choose to allocate an unprecedented, one-shot $5.4 billion windfall "surplus" originating with fines and penalties collected from financial institutions.
Now we have the answer: under Cuomo's proposal, less than one-third of the money—barely $1.6 billion—would be absolutely, positively committed to core transportation infrastructure purposes.
The rest would go to an assortment of stuff, only some of which would fit into even an extra-broad definition of “infrastructure.”
On Election Day, New York voters will be asked to let the state borrow up to $2 billion to help public schools buy computer hardware they don’t urgently need and create space for pre-kindergarten programs that most districts outside New York City can’t afford.