By Will Barclay
The deadline for Governor Hochul to release the state’s mid-year budget report was Sunday, October 30, but the public is still waiting for it. The mandated public report that outlines the state’s current financial health is at a lower priority to the governor’s ongoing campaign tour. However, the mid-year budget update is important and is required by law.
New York will likely face serious budget challenges this year, especially with a looming recession. It’s unlikely that the federal government will send billions of dollars in assistance, like in previous years. New York’s record-breaking $220 billion budget is already a concern for taxpayers, so ensuring every dollar is being used efficiently and effectively is absolutely critical.
A year ago, Governor Hochul and Democrat majority leaders had curated a budget when state revenues exceeded projections, cash infusions from Washington were overly generous and few cuts needed to be made.
According to the state Division of Budget’s first quarter budget report, the long-term projections for New York identify a $13.7 billion budget gap over the next five years. Due to New York’s tax-and-spend behavior, the state could be running in the red once again.
New York’s budget process currently remains secretive, despite Governor Hochul making countless promises of transparency.
New Yorkers have been faced with financial uncertainty with inflation, gas prices and utility costs. This delay is illegal and the governor of the state has a fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers; it’s time she meets that responsibility.
Will Barclay (R,C,I-Pulaski) is the Assembly Minority Leader.