The influx of foreign migrants to New York could cost the state $4.5 billion more than expected next year, Governor Hochul today warned.

Writing to President Biden, Hochul requested several types of federal aid, ranging from reimbursement for National Guard deployments to free MTA fares for migrants.

The governor did not mince words about the root cause of the still-developing crisis, which has seen roughly 100,000 people travel to the state. The federal government, the governor wrote, has a “direct responsibility to manage and control” the nation’s borders, and that New York had neither “capacity” nor “responsibility” to address the cause of the influx.

She has good reason to be concerned.

New York state government officially faces a $9 billion budget gap in the fiscal year beginning next April 1, and Hochul in January must present a plan to tackle it as part of her fiscal 2024 executive budget proposal. The governor had earlier this month estimated the state was looking at an extra $1 billion in migrant-related costs, on top of $2 billion already allotted. Her latest estimate, combined with other costs set to hit the state’s ledger, could force Hochul to tackle a $15 billion (more than 10 percent) shortfall between expenses and revenues (excluding federal aid and borrowing).

The added costs are even more problematic for New York City, which has a smaller budget and less flexibility to reduce spending as it tackles what Mayor Adams has estimated will be $12 billion in additional costs. The City’s financial problems risk becoming state government’s—and state taxpayers’—problems.

The rate at which migrants are arriving in New York has overwhelmed existing social infrastructure such as New York City’s homeless shelters. It remains to be seen how many people will effectively come under state or city care when that arrival rate abates—and how long they will stay in that care.

The continued uncertainty around that question, and the fact that New York must make significant spending cuts, will likely make next year’s budget the most difficult and acrimonious since the Global Financial Crisis.

You may also like

One Brooklyn Health’s Money Troubles Raise a Billion-Dollar Question

A brewing fiscal crisis at One Brooklyn Health, which has received more than $1 billion in turnaround funding from the state, raises the question of whether that money has been well spent. Read More

Hochul Signals Tough Budget Ahead

Governor Hochul’s administration this week urged agency heads to keep their budgets flat next year. It's the most serious acknowledgement yet of state government’s looming financial shortfall. Read More

Beware of Medicaid’s Spending Swings

The state's Medicaid spending is becoming increasingly volatile from month to mo Read More

The Uncertain Math of ‘Coverage for All’

State lawmakers are divided over proposal known as "Coverage for All," which would allow low-income undocumented immigrants to obtain free health insurance through the state-run Essential Plan. Read More

The Bill Arrives: NY Faces $9B Budget Gap Next Year 

New York’s outyear budget gaps, the shortfall between planned state expenses and state tax receipts over the next three years, has exploded to more than $36 billion, just-released documents show.  Read More

A Breakthrough for Hospital Pricing Transparency in Albany

The murky world of hospital pricing would be exposed to more sunlight under a bill approved this week by state lawmakers. The legislation calls for the state-run employee health pla Read More

NY school spending again led US, hitting all-time high in 2020-21

Public elementary and secondary school spending in New York rose to $26,571 per pupil in 2020-21, according to the latest Census Bureau data Read More

A Tale of Two Levies

New York school districts are getting record levels of state aid. But how many are using it to cut taxes? Read More

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!