ALBANY, NY (WAMC) – Late Sunday afternoon, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders announced they had come to an agreement on a budget that will close the state’s 10 Billion dollar deficit. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
The new budget promises to be an early budget – one Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver calls “strong and firmly grounded in reality.” New York’s budgets are notorious for being late: at one point for 20 consecutive years — and Governor Cuomo says having an on-time budget is a “big deal.” Cuomo promises the budgets “real policy initiatives” will make a striking difference… but the swift agreement caught some off guard and apprehensive. Senior Advocate Gloria Wilson of Manhattan-based “Community Voices Heard” is concerned about how the budget will impact older New Yorkers. While Cuomo maintains he is putting the state on a better financial trajectory, Lisa Tyson with the Long Island Progressive Coalition says the tentative agreement still tilts too far in favor of the wealthy. On the other side of the issue, Michael Moran, Director of Communications for the Business Council Of New York State, praises the budget as one that actually puts the state on the path to prosperity and growth.
90% of voters surveyed in a Siena Poll released Monday said an on-time budget was important – Pollster Steve Greenberg says Governor Cuomo is the big winner coming out of this budget: “Voters think an on-time budget is important by a nine-to-one margin.” James Parrott of the Fiscal Policy Institute says women and children make up 77 percent of New York’s poor. A new Institute report finds deep cuts to human services in Governor’s Cuomo’s budget would drive some women and children deeper into poverty, reducing opportunities to move up, and destabilizing those already struggling to get by. Now that it’s been presented, Governor Cuomo’s $132.5 billion state budget deal awaits legislative approval.