The Essential Plan survives by Bill Hammond | NY Torch

Governor Cuomo’s budget makes no major change in the Essential Plan—a low-cost state-sponsored health plan—despite the loss of almost $1 billion in federal aid.

Albany matchup: Medicaid vs. schools by Bill Hammond | NY Torch

With the state facing its grimmest budget outlook in years, the legislative session shows signs of becoming a tug-of-war between public schools and health care—the two biggest recipients of state spending and, not coincidentally, the two heaviest-hitting lobbying forces Albany.

Don’t ‘overcommit’ on budget by E.J. McMahon | New York Post

Amid the smoke and confusion surrounding this week’s on-again, off-again budget dance in Albany, Gov. Cuomo made a point well worth repeating.

Noting big federal-policy changes afoot in Washington, Cuomo said Wednesday evening that his top priority was “to make sure we do not overcommit ourselves financially.”

That’s an eminently responsible position. Too bad the governor hasn’t followed his own advice.

Cuomo’s Budget Test by E.J. McMahon | NY Post

Halfway through his second term as New York’s chief executive, Gov. Cuomo could be approaching a fiscal turning point.

Minimum wage cost hits Medicaid by Bill Hammond | NY Torch

Moving to a $15 minimum wage will cost New York’s Medicaid system more than double what was previously forecast, state budget officials revealed this week

NY faces growing budget gaps Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

New York may face its first major budget gaps since 2011 as tax revenues are estimated to be less than initially anticipated, state budget records this week showed.

The looming budget gaps could be up to $2 billion in the next two years, which might influence state aid for schools and spending on programs proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"This is going to be acid test of his commitment to fiscal restraint," said E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center, a fiscally conservative think tank.
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