Twenty-nine days past the legal deadline, the Cuomo Administration finally got around to posting the state’s required mid-year financial plan update on the Division of the Budget (DOB) website late yesterday afternoon.  As expected, the report does not included an estimate of fiscal impacts from Superstorm Sandy. DOB says it is still working on those numbers.

Somewhat more surprisingly, despite some weakening in revenue trends even before the storm, the mid-year report features no significant change from the first quarter financial update, which was issued (on time) back in  July.  Slight changes in projected disbursements are offset by equally minor changes in projected receipts, conveniently yielding precisely the same budget gap projections: $982 million next year, growing to $3.6 billion in fiscal 2015 and $4.4 billion in fiscal 2016.  In the wake of Sandy, these projected imbalances will surely grow.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has a more pessimistic outlook.  His mid-year report, which also includes no estimate of Sandy’s impact, predicts that revenues will fall short of the governor’s July projections by $441 million in fiscal 2013 and $394 million in 2014, which would boost next year’s gap to nearly $1.9 billion.

On the face of it, the governor’s official financial outlook appears to be on the rosy side.  For example, it includes a projected 6.7 percent increase in personal income tax withholding payments in fiscal 2013-14 — which would suggest that DOB, pre-Sandy, was expecting a boomlet in wages (including bonuses) and employment growth next year.

And what do the legislative fiscal staff think? We don’t know, because they have failed to meet their own Nov. 14 statutory deadline for issuing comparable revenue estimates.

Cuomo and the Legislature boasted of their success in passing an on-time budget for the past two years. But their disregard of statutory financial reporting requirements is the kind of “transformation” that could lead to rude shocks in the future.

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

New York’s Medicaid costs are soaring at double-digit rates

New York's already high Medicaid spending is growing at a double-digit rate for the second year in a row, recently released state figures show. After dipping during the first year o Read More

Budget’s Historic Spending Hike Shown in Financial Plan Update

Amidst spiking inflation, a market downturn and recession fears, state spending will soar to new heights under the April budget deal, as per (Plan) that the Governor’s budget office quietly i Read More

Minimum wage for home care aides is likely to mean bigger raises for downstate than upstate

The newly enacted wage hike for home care aides is likely to increase workers' pay more than three times as much in the New York City area as in other parts of the state, according to a review of labor data. Read More

The flawed arguments behind ‘Fair Pay for Home Care’

As they contemplate a major increase in Medicaid spending on home care for the elderly and disabled, state legislators are relying on information that's outdated, incomplete or inaccurate – and neglecting to think through the predictable consequences. Read More

The debate over Medicaid home-care funding needs a reality check

The push in Albany to boost wages for home health aides is seemingly disconnected from the larger realities of the state’s long-term care system. As they , officials in the home care industry are warning that the state faces an of in-home caregivers Read More

Answers needed on Governor Hochul’s health-care budget

The health-care agenda laid out by Governor Hochul in her budget proposal this week leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Here are a few of them. Read More

The Health Department takes a big step toward COVID transparency

The state Health Department released a flurry of 20 COVID-related data sets this week, taking its biggest step yet toward full transparency about the state's pandemic response. Read More

Remembering the scandal that brought down Health Commissioner Howard Zucker

The resignation of Dr. Howard Zucker as state health commissioner marks the end of a term marred by scandal over his role in managing the coronavirus pandemic. The much-debated compelling nursing homes to admit COVID-positive patients, though it origi Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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!