In his State of the State message, Governor Cuomo called for a transformation to stabilize New York and position it for future growth and vitality. In his Executive Budget proposal, the governor unveiled a blueprint for achieving this goal, while claiming to eliminate a nearly $10 billion deficit without raising taxes or incurring new debt.
With a focus on controlling spending, the governor is attempting to reduce the massive upward pressures that have fueled prior year budget increases at rates greater than the rate of inflation and, even more important, the rate of personal income growth for individual New Yorkers. Moreover, the governor seeks to send the message to businesses that New York is serious about changing the fiscal climate to encourage growth and investment.
In an attempt to “right size” government and make the budget more sustainable, the proposal seeks to cut 10 percent from state spending and 2 percent for municipalities and schools, an unprecedented stance and long overdue acknowledgement from a standing governor that the taxpayers of New York State need immediate relief.
The governor’s message was clear and concise – no finger-pointing, no attempts at one-upmanship. Yet, charging the legislature to serve as a thoughtful, constructive partner was direct and undeniable.
Now begins the process of sifting, weighing options, taking in the concerns and recommendations of an incredibly diverse and complex community. This process will test the resilience of our new governor as well as the mettle of the legislature to move in a direction that provides hope and opportunity for future generations.
The governor’s basic message is on point; the stakes could not be higher. Now we must work toward an intelligent resolution for the challenges that face us.