Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

State Budget

State Budget

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    Gov. Cuomo at the New York Stock Exchange (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    This story was published in partnership with New York Focus, an independent, investigative news publication covering New York state and city politics, as part of its launch.
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    As the pandemic roiled markets in the spring, New York recorded surging revenue from an obscure

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    Essential workers need help (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a medical problem—it's a social one. As everyone knows, it is caused by the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. But it is fueled by inequity. Black and Latino New Yorkers have been twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as their white neighbors because of a raft of social factors: People of color are more likely to live in

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    State Senator Michael Gianaris (photo: Senator Michael Gianaris' office)


    September 23, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Senator Gianaris on Next Steps in New York's Recovery

    State Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens joined the show to discuss next steps in reopening the New York economy, how the State Senate Democratic majority is thinking about addressing the state and city fiscal crises, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter ...

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    Mayor de Blasio at a budget presentation (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson are aggressively lobbying the state Legislature to authorize the City of New York to borrow billions of dollars from private financial markets by selling municipal bonds through the Transitional Finance Authority.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo also recently announced that if the federal government does not step up with stimulus money for New York, he is also open to borrowing money for our state.

    Unfortunately, most

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  • 1 billions push

    The Financial Control Board meets (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio has until the end of September to present a state fiscal oversight body with a plan to find $1 billion in savings that will help balance the city budget for the current fiscal year. In lieu of a federal aid package to help replace lost tax revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic, the mayor and labor union leaders are pushing the Legislature and Governor Cuomo to allow the city to borrow billions of dollars to cover operating expenses, a proposal that many city and state

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    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photo Office)


    Despite a full-court press from cities and states across the country, Congress left for August recess without passing joint legislation to provide them with federal financial assistance. This aid is desperately needed by localities, both red and blue, that have suffered dramatic revenue losses due to the shutdown of much of their economies during the pandemic. There is still hope that some amount of aid will eventually be forthcoming, but not in time or in sufficient amount to address the dire needs of New York City and State.

    While

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    Bronx Community College students (photo: @CUNY)


    In the aftermath of the covid outbreak and in a moment of Black Lives Matter national organizing in response to police brutality the issue of racial justice has lit up cities and towns across the country. Racist policing practices have had a huge impact on public opinion, with polling data showing that even more white suburban voters favor policy reforms. The shift has been public, sudden, and potentially electorally-decisive during this political season.

    What remains less visible are racialized and

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    Gov. Cuomo at the New York Stock Exchange (photo: Don Pollard/governor's office)


    Income inequality in our state was a crisis before anyone had even heard of COVID-19, but five months into the pandemic, it is now a question of life or death for millions of New Yorkers.

    As two individuals sitting on opposite sides of that inequality divide, we are united in our demand to the State of New York: we must tax the rich, and we must do it right now.

    One of us, Morris Pearl, is a millionaire. I built my fortune on Wall Street, but I retired from that job after deciding

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    Naloxone training to reverse overdoses (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    With the pandemic blowing a hole in the economy and leading to a drastic drop in state tax revenue, budget officials have for months been withholding payments for state contracts to manage cash flows. Among the victims of that fiscal approach are substance use treatment providers who are being forced to cut already-limited services and consider staff layoffs and furloughs, which they say will likely lead to a sharp increase in overdoses and new disease outbreaks around the

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    The U.S. Capitol (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    With Congress back in Washington, D.C., New Yorkers have a big stake in the outcome of the next federal economic stimulus package. 

    No Clear Signals on New Aid to State and Local Government
    Serious negotiations are finally starting on an aid program to help an American economy devastated by the coronavirus recession. Two months have elapsed since the Democrats in the House of Representatives passed a $3 trillion aid package that included $1 trillion in support for state and

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    Gov. Cuomo presents a budget plan (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    The job of state legislators is to craft laws that protect New Yorkers and advance equal opportunity and justice. A significant part of that job is shaping our state budget, which funds our schools, our health care, our transportation systems, and a long list of vital other public services. During a global pandemic, this already crucial responsibility has reached a new level of importance. But, over the years, in the strange world of Albany, the role and

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  • cuny must cut

    City College graduation of the past (photo: CUNY)


    We cannot have a meaningful conversation about educational equity in New York City without calling attention to the deep funding cuts that the City University of New York (CUNY) is facing. For countless New Yorkers like myself, CUNY means access to an excellent public education and a path to career. Cutting CUNY resources flies in the face of the discussions we are having right now around racism, classism, and social justice.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature are weighing steep cuts to CUNY’s budget, and we

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    State Senator Brian Benjamin (photo: New York Senate)


    May 27, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Brian Benjamin on Rescuing New York's Finances & More

    State Senator Brian Benjamin joined the show to discuss the New York State and City fiscal crises brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak and its fallout. Benjamin, who represents parts of Upper Manhattan and chairs the Senate revenue and budget committee, talked about the city saving, borrowing, and looking for other solutions,

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    State Senator Gustavo Rivera (photo: New York Senate)


    May 27, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Gustavo Rivera on New York's Health Care Response to COVID-19

    State Senator Gustavo RiveraState Senator Gustavo Rivera returned to the show to discuss how New York is responding to the coronavirus crisis, and the status of the New York Health Act, a bill he

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    Gov. Cuomo delivers a budget address (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    Despite pleas from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and state and local government leaders across the nation for major new federal help for budgets devastated by the COVID-19 recession, there is still no clear path to Washington acting quickly to provide financial relief. 

    Although on May 15 the House of Representatives, with its Democratic majority, passed a $3 trillion aid bill for the country that included $1 trillion for state and local governments, President

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  • CUNY students

    CUNY Graduates (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    As CUNY braces for tens of millions of dollars of potential city and state cuts to its budget, hundreds of its most vulnerable employees are bracing for pink slips. 

    Colleges across the sprawling, citywide public university system have announced contingency plans to drastically reduce course offerings, adjunct professors and other part-time employees ahead of expected budget shortfalls, leaving many unsure of their positions for the upcoming semester.

    Manhattan’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice,

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    Major budget questions loom as coronavirus takes its toll (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    As we work to show COVID the door, tough budget decisions are ahead. Governments at every level are grappling with the unprecedented toll this pandemic has had on the economy. 

    COVID has laid bare structural inequities too stark to ignore. While some work comfortably from home, others put themselves in danger on the front lines. While some flee to the Hamptons, others pass the virus between family members in cramped New York City apartments.

    These choices become

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    CUNY is closed (photo: Brooklyn College)


    What does an educational crisis look like in a plague year? How can I convey, from inside a health emergency, that the City University of New York has been in a slow-burn, decades-long state of crisis? COVID-19 is a matter of life and death, while higher education is not. Yet the COVID-19 pandemic reveals with new urgency, rather than diminishes by comparison, CUNY’s longstanding, systemic failures.

    We need to grasp the relationship between this novel coronavirus and CUNY if we want to make a better

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  • state senators

    Senators Ramos and Gounardes (photo: NY Senate)


    A group of Democratic state senators, mostly from New York City, gathered in a digital forum Wednesday night to discuss the government’s COVID-19 response. The virtual event, held in partnership with the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI), a nonprofit liberal think tank, covered topics including the state budget, impending cuts and proposals to raise revenue, and legislation to address ramifications of the virus.

    Eight senators, or a fifth of the Democratic majority in the 63-seat chamber, participated in

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    Governor Cuomo gives a budget presentation (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    New York State and City are the gruesome public health epicenter of COVID-19, with horrific daily death tolls. The coronavirus is likely causing New York to also be the economic epicenter of the nation’s staggering job and economic loss, although those are statistics that will play catch up.

    New York State’s fiscal year is April 1 to the following March 31, so the Governor and the Legislature just adopted a new budget (slightly

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    A nearly-empty State Senate Chamber as business is conducted amid coronavirus outbreak (photo: NY Senate)


    If New Yorkers take Governor Andrew Cuomo’s word for it, the new $177 billion budget approved last week will “deliver results” for the people of the state and was a far cry from a “bare minimum” spending plan at a time when the state’s finances are racked by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. But within his own Democratic Party, which controls both houses of the Legislature where the plan was passed, the budget is a highly unpopular document that to

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    (photo: NY Senate Media Services)


    April 08, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Senator Jessica Ramos on Coronavirus in Queens & the New State Budget

    jessica ramos wbaiState Senator Jessica Ramos represents a Queens district hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic; she joined the show to discuss its impact on her constituents, how the city and state have responded, and the

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    Gov. Cuomo & legislative leaders (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    Amid the unprecedented public health crisis presented by the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature managed to cobble together a $177 billion state budget, though slightly past its deadline, which contains a raft of legislation on criminal justice, environmental protection, public health regulation, campaign finance reform, women’s reproductive rights, election administration, gun control, and more.

    But the budget session became particularly harried, and focused in

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  • Cuomo state budget presentation

    Gov. Cuomo's budget presentation (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature came to an agreement this past week on a $177 billion budget for the 2021 fiscal year, amid uncertainty about the state’s economy that has been devastated by the coronavirus outbreak.

    The slightly late budget was given final approval by legislators in the early hours of Friday morning, a couple of days after the April 1 start of the fiscal year, and Cuomo signed the pieces he needed to by end of day Friday. And

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    Federal aid to New York is coming, but how much (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    On Friday, the president signed into law The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The $2.1 trillion CARES Act provides significant support for people, states, the health care system, small businesses, and yes, big businesses too. 
     
    The historic legislation ...