Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature have successfully tackled serious budget issues in recent years, but important challenges remain. These must be addressed in his next budget in order to improve the state's fiscal condition and give local governments better tools to manage their structural deficits.
Over the last two years New York State has successfully tackled serious budget issues – curbing rapidly rising public employee pension costs, negotiating reasonable contracts for the state workforce, and implementing significant reforms in Medicaid. These actions helped improve the State’s fiscal condition to the extent that the projected budget gap in fiscal year 2013-14 is a historically low $982 million but important work remains to be done. Four important challenges face state leaders as they prepare the next budget:
Public education from preschool to grade 12 in New York is a $60 billion enterprise, accounting for one in three state and local tax dollars. Per pupil spending in New York is well above national norms and ranks second among states behind Connecticut. But recent years have not been easy for school districts.
School districts in New York spent $1,100 per pupil on average on transportation in 2010, more than any other state and 140 percent above the U.S. average of $459. Transportation spending by New York City is $1,033 per pupil, while spending in the rest of the state averages a higher $1,141 per pupil – fully 149 percent above the national average. The next highest spending state, New Jersey, spends $908 per pupil.
Amid the extraordinary Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, city officials continued with important fiscal activities. On November 9, an update to the current year budget and the financial plan for fiscal years 2013 to 2016 was released. The plan does not include any estimates of the fiscal impacts of the hurricane, but it features other important modifications.
This policy brief compares the wages PANYNJ police officers with those of the largest state and local police forces in the region, as well as a federal agency. The major finding of the report is that PANYNJ’s police officers are paid more generously than officers of most other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
In recent weeks transit analysts and advocates have referred to the share of expenses for subway, bus or commuter train rides covered by the relevant fares (called “fare ratios”) to comment on and critique the MTA’s proposed fare increase options. Fare ratios as low as 36 percent and as high as 76 percent have been cited.
The CBC today announced 19 new trustees have been elected over the past eight months. CBC’s trustees play an essential role in the work of the Commission, providing crucial support by, among other things, informing and guiding research.