A First Look At The Governor’s Spending Plan
Well the annual game of “Where’s Waldo?” known as the NYS budget process began officially yesterday as the Governor merged his State-Of-The State Address with the unveiling of his Executive Budget proposal for the 2016-17 Fiscal year that begins April 1st. I’ve just started looking at it, but here is the big picture stuff.
- The Governor’s proposed budget at $145.3 billion is a 1.7% increase over last year. If this limit is honored, the Governor’s streak of limiting budget increases to 2 percent or less will continue. In his response to the Governor’s proposal, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan proposed putting the cap in law.
- The proposed All Funds appropriation for the Department of Financial Services is $410.96 million, a $14.6 million decrease from FY 2016 which the Department attributes to health insurance savings. (https://www.budget.ny.gov/pubs/executive/eBudget1617/agencyPresentations/appropData/FinancialServicesDepartmentof.html
- The Governor’s agenda, would have a big impact on credit unions as employers. His top priorities include raising the state’s minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. He also spent time talking about the need for paid family leave. Under the Governor’s proposal, New York State’s Paid Family Leave Program would provide twelve weeks of job-protected, employee funded leave to be used for bonding with a new child or caring for a sick relative.
- The Governor included ethics reform in his budget. He would seek to limit the amount of outside income that legislators can make.
- How much money to spend on education and how the money gets distributed is always the top issue in New York’s budget negations and this year is no exception. This year’s big education issue is the Gap Elimination Adjustment. The State traditionally strived to insure that no school district received less in state aid than it had the year before. However, starting in 2009 when it was faced with a multi-billion dollar deficit, the State shifted approximately $434 million in money that districts would have gotten under the state aid formula and reallocated these funds to help fill the state’s budget hole.