The Ongoing Challenge of Producing a $2 Billion Surplus: An Update

Jan 23, 2014
On January 21 Governor Andrew Cuomo presented a $142.1 billion fiscal year 2015 Executive Budget. One of its the most anticipated features – previewed at the State of the State address two weeks ago – was a projected $2 billion annual surplus beginning in fiscal year 2016-17. This surplus is achieved only if growth in state operating fund spending (total spending excluding capital funds and federal aid) is held at 2 percent or less.

The Challenge of Producing a $2 Billion Surplus

Jan 17, 2014
Governor Cuomo has stated the $2 billion in tax cuts he proposed in his State of the State address on January 8 can be paid for with surplus funds that will become available in fiscal year 2016-17 if State Operating Funds disbursements can be held to an annual growth rate of no more than 2 percent and receipts grow as projected. With school aid and Medicaid – the two largest items in the state budget – growing at annual rates at or above 4 percent under separate statutory caps, all other categories of spending, including agency operations, will face offsetting reductions to the plan if the net increase in overall state spending is to be kept to 2 percent.

New York Tops the List in State Public School Spending

Jun 04, 2013
In 2011 per pupil education spending nationwide fell 0.4%. In New York, however, per pupil spending increased 2.5% from $18,618 to $19,076, fully 81% above the national average and placing it at the top of the spending list for all 50 states.

Letters to the State Comptroller and NYSTRS on the Governor's "Fixed Rate" Pension Contribution Plan

Feb 25, 2013

I am writing to share the views of the Citizens Budget Commission on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to allow local governments to opt into a “fixed rate” contribution plan to fund their public employee pension obligations. We believe this proposal would endanger the future financial viability of the pension plans and recommend you reject it.

Letter to the Comptroller
Letter to NYSTRS

Statement on Tier VI Reforms

Mar 15, 2012

Despite a concerted public relations campaign against the Governor’s pension reform proposal and rumors in recent days that major aspects would be abandoned, the bill that passed both houses of the State Legislature early this morning included important, beneficial changes in most components of the pension formulas that will determine benefits for future employees.

New York State’s Pension Plan

Mar 13, 2012

Deferrals of pension fund contributions by New York State and localities relies on unconvincing arguments by the State Comptroller that the plan is justified by the need for short-term relief from rising pension costs and that it is transparent.

Cuomo’s Reforms Are Perfectly Fair

Feb 22, 2012

Gov. Cuomo’s proposed “Tier VI” pension formula for future state and local government employees is more than fair by national standards. With New Yorkers now paying more than twice the US average per person for public-employee pensions, it’s time to rein in these costs.

Finally Retire New York's Overpriced Pensions

Jan 23, 2012

President Carol Kellermann pens an op-ed urging the legislature to pass Governor Cuomo's proposal to modernize the State's pension system by offering new employees a 401(k)-style option.

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