Bernadette Hogan

Gov. Cuomo faces a growing budget mess as officials projected a $6.1 billion hole in the state’s finances next year.

The figure was provided by the state Division of the Budget in its midyear budget report, which was released weeks after its mandated due date.

That tallies up to roughly 6 percent of the state’s $102 billion budget for its agencies and operations.

More than half of the gap – $4 billion – is linked to a dramatic rise in the state’s Medicaid costs.

In an effort to close the gap, Cuomo is considering slashing payments to hospitals and nursing homes in the current budget and next year.

“Savings may include across the board reductions in rates paid to providers and health plans, reductions in discretionary payments and other actions that can be executed administratively in the current fiscal year,” the report reads.

It’s Cuomo’s biggest budget shortfall since he came into office, experts said.

“This is the toughest budget that Cuomo has faced partly because he had bigger gaps when he took office, but he also had more political capital,” said Bill Hammond of the fiscally conservative Empire Center.

“He kind of owns this crisis because it’s not driven by the economy, it’s driven by the shortcomings of his own management of the Medicaid program in particular,” he added.

© 2019 New York Post

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