State Legislature Passes On-Time Budget

No new taxes or borrowing in $132.5B spending plan for 2011-12.

On Thursday, its budget deadline, the state Legislature approved a $132.5 billion spending plan that closes Albany's $10-billion deficit, cuts overall expenditure by 2 percent, and does so without borrowing money or raising taxes.

"It is a new day in Albany," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "Government needs to recognize the new economic reality, government needs to tighten its belt and cut the waste, just like every family in this state has done."

The governor said the 2011-12 budget is one that will encourage economic growth and job creation for the residents of New York State, rather than serving special- interest groups and lobbyists.

"We must do more to clean up Albany and restore the promise of New York State government," Cuomo said, "but this was a great step forward."

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Rockville Centre, said the newly passed budget dovetails with Senate Republicans' goals of reducing state spending without raising taxes, while at the same time helping to create jobs.

"With this budget we have begun to restore hope to millions of New Yorkers who want state government to spend less, tax less and do more to encourage job creation," Skelos said. "The budget achieved all of these goals by reducing overall state spending by getting rid of some of the devastating tax and fee increases enacted by Democrats over the past two years …"

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said his Democratic caucus would have liked to see the extension of the so-called "millionaire's tax," which places an income tax surcharge on wealthy New Yorkers and would raise approximately $1 billion in revenue for the state. But he acknowledged that the governor has put forward a fiscally sound budget that benefits New York residents.

"The final product, the 2011-12 state budget, is a sobering one. Difficult and painful decisions had to be made to address the fiscal reality facing our state," Silver said. "The Assembly majority, working with the governor, was able to achieve some critical restorations that will soften the cuts affecting working families, students, senior citizens and or most vulnerable populations."

The on-time passing of this year's budget is a far cry from last year, when the Legislature approved a spending plan in August, several months late. March 31 is the earliest the budget has been approved since Cuomo's father, Mario Cuomo, was governor, back in 1983.

The governor admitted that the budget is only the first step in getting New York's finances back in order, but expressed confidence that the state would reach that point.

"This budget works for the people of New York," Cuomo said. "We have more to do, but we are on our way, together."

Rick April 01, 2011 at 02:55 PM
Speaking on those 7 workers who hit the jackpot...I would be kicking myself if I were that 8th guy who always went in on tickets, but stayed out this time because he wasn't feeling lucky...I guess he was correct about that..definitely not lucky..lol
An tUasal Airgead April 01, 2011 at 03:10 PM
SS is Federal, not state. Military retirees and Disabled Veterans also did not get an increase for the past two years http://www.military.com/benefits/military-pay/retired-pay/retired-cola COLA Explained Each year Military Retirement pay, VA Compensation and Pensions, and Social Security benefits are adjusted for the rate of inflation. This annual Cost of Living Adjustment is determined by the Consumer Price Index for the previous year. In a normal cycle the CPI for a given year is compared to the previous year to determine the actual rate of inflation. However, since 2008 was the last year the rate of inflation was positive, it is the baseline for determining the 2010 rate of inflation. For example, the 2011 COLA will be based on the 2010 rate of inflation. The 2010 rate of inflation was -0.1% when compared to 2008, therefore there will be no COLA for Fiscal Year 2011. http://www.ssa.gov/cola/ Under existing law, there can be no COLA in 2011. Why? As determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is no increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2008, the last year a COLA was determined, to the third quarter of 2010. The following resources provide more information:
Bob Rabey April 02, 2011 at 07:04 AM
I'm still waiting to see what effects this budget will have. I understand that "some" funding was put back toward education, but where was it taken from? Plus I love the fact that everyone connected is boasting about bring in the budget "on time". Isn't that what they are SUPPOSED to do? That's like saying "I take care of my kids." As for those lucky few who hit the jackpot, good for them! As I understand it they had an office pool going for years where they would all put in a couple of bucks toward the issue. One did not have any singles and four declined to play that week. YIKES!
Wayne Smith April 02, 2011 at 12:39 PM
One impact of this budget is that school property tax levies are sure to go up, and in some cases dramatically. So in this regard, the reduction in state spending will not be nearly as dramatic as described. Indeed, if anything, the burden on property owners only goes up as a result of Albany's self-described fiscal discipline. And because the proportion of a school's budget now being financed through property taxes goes up, the disparity between rich and poor districts will now be further exacerbated, perpetuating an educational system characterized by unequal opportunity for kids. In the midst of all the celebraton among our elected leaders for having finally passed an "on time" budget, it should be noted that Albany failed to address serious structural issues such as pension and tenure reform, the problem of educational mandates, and the crushing tax burden imposed on homeowners, among other issues. Only time will tell whether or not the Senate and Assembly and our new Governor will make good on the commitments many have made to advancing true reform in these areas, or whether the talk of reform will ultimately reveal itself to be just so much empty rhetoric. The burden of proof will be on them; as voters, it will be our burden to hold them accountable.
Frank Scarangella April 02, 2011 at 12:58 PM
i would like to know... i the value of our homes are shrinking that is a fact.. aren't we taxed on the value of our homes? i woud think our taxes would be going down and the ruling class would have to make due with less.


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