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.
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.”
The agenda in almost every capital this legislative year will include a discussion about how – not if – to increase spending on roads and bridges.
A number of high-profile resignations at the New York State Thruway Authority is renewing concerns about its shaky fiscal foundation. Executive Director Tom Madison and Chief Financial Officer John Bryan left the agency Wednesday. Chairman Howard Milstein stepped down at the beginning of December.
Toll increases aren't included in the stateThruway Authority's $2 billion budget for 2015 — but that doesn't mean they won't eventually happen.
The big factor may be the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
Four years ago, as Andrew Cuomo prepared to begin his first term as governor, the biggest problem facing New York state was how to close a $10 billion budget gap.
This year, gearing up for his second term, Cuomo faces quite a different challenge: what to do with roughly $5 billion in extra cash.