spotlight-thumb1-6656746Based on their just-introduced one-house budget, Assembly Democrats don’t support Governor Cuomo’s proposal to eliminate all required reports by local governments and school districts to state agencies. From a transparency and accountability standpoint, that’s good news for taxpayers and the general public, as explained here.

Much less positively, in the same Article 7 budget bill, Assembly Democrats go along with the governor’s proposal to raid the State Insurance Fund (SIF) for $1.75 billion, which I criticize inthis New York Post op-ed today.

However, while the governor would take the SIF money in several chunks over the next four years, the Assembly wants to take all the money in fiscal 2013-14.  Another difference: the governor would stick $500 million into a capital fund and use another $250 million to finance a debt service reduction next year, while the Assembly would immediately deposit $550 million of SIF cash into the budget’s general fund and the remaining $1.2 billion into the budgetary reserve known as the fiscal stabilization fund. In sum, when it comes to the SIF raid, the main difference between Cuomo and Speaker Sheldon Silver is that Silver wants to be in a position to spend more of the money sooner.

Senate Republicans haven’t yet introduced their own version of a Public Protection and General Government budget bill, which is the measure in which the governor included his reporting language and his SIF raid.*

* At first glance, the Senate version of the same budget bill appears to contain neither the elimination of local reports nor the SIF raid.  This doesn’t mean the Senate majority (Republicans and “independent” Democrats) are not OK with siphoning money from SIF — only that hey have not chosen to include it in their own version of the bill.

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

You may also like

Hochul’s ‘Straight Talk’ on Medicaid Isn’t Straight Enough

Arguably the biggest Medicaid news in Governor Hochul's budget presentation was about the current fiscal year, not the next one: The state-run health plan is running substantially over budget. Read More

New York’s Medicaid Spending Is Running Billions Over Budget

New York's Medicaid program ran billions of dollars over budget during the first half of the fiscal year, adding to signs of a brewing fiscal crisis in Albany. According to the fro Read More

Hospital Lobby’s TV Campaign Spreads Misinformation About Medicaid

As New York's health-care industry agitates for more money from the state budget, two of its most influential lobbying groups are airing TV ads that make alarmist and inaccurate claims about Medicaid. Read More

Hochul’s ‘Pay and Resolve’ Push for Hospitals Triggers Déjà Vu

Two years ago last week, I wrote in the Daily News about how then-Governor Andrew Cuomo was pushing a costly change to insurance law on behalf of a hospital group that had supported his campaign through a fund-rai Read More

The Looming Collapse of a Long-Term Care Insurer Raises Questions for DFS

As the Hochul administration presses for the creation of a "guaranty fund" to bail out failed health insurers, the state is quietly moving to seize a small company that could be the fund's first target. Read More

Hochul puts Medicaid spending on a steeper slope

Governor Hochul is releasing the brakes on Medicaid, allowing state spending on the safety-net health plan to increase more than twice as fast as it typically did during the Cuomo administration. Read More

Hochul’s agenda mostly sidesteps health care

Governor Hochul gave health care surprisingly little attention in her State of the State speech on Tuesday – a sign that taking on dysfunction in one-sixth of the state's economy ranks low on her list of priorities. Read More

Federal omnibus deal has big implications for New York Medicaid

The big spending bill heading for a vote in Washington this week would scramble the outlook for Medicaid in next year's state budget, mostly for the better. The $1.7 trillion federa Read More