Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today delivered his 2014 Executive Budget address, outlining a disciplined and innovative plan that allows for tax cuts that will create jobs, grow the economy and provide much-needed relief for struggling families.
“In the past, budgets in New York State have meant little more than out of control spending that catered to special interests and created a fiscally dilapidated and unhealthy New York. But over the last three years, with fiscal discipline and responsible policymaking, New York State has turned a $10 billion deficit into a $2 billion surplus and made the government work again,” said Governor Cuomo. “This year, our budget is more than numbers: it is an innovative action plan building on the progress of the last three years by restoring the public’s trust and making New York a state that is smarter, cleaner, healthier and reimagined for the future.”
New York has undergone a dramatic turnaround in the past three years. In 2011, the New York faced a $10 billion budget gap, symptomatic of decades during which the State spent beyond its means. Budgets were chronically late and politics dominated policymaking.
But over the last three years, State government has reformed to deliver better, more efficient results for the people of New York. Out-of-control inflators were replaced with new measures of affordability and limited State spending growth to two percent. The government was reorganized to allow for the workforce to contract in a rational way, and negotiate new labor contracts appropriate to the State’s fiscal condition, all while reducing debt and pension liability.
The State worked with partners in all sectors — public, private and nonprofit — to overhaul the Medicaid program through the Medicaid Redesign Team. New strategies for investments and economic growth were built from the ground-up by the Regional Economic Development Councils.
Now, only three years later, New York has a vastly improved fiscal outlook. All three major rating agencies have moved New York up from “stable” to “positive.” Employer confidence has led the State to reach an all-time high for private sector jobs. Most importantly, the State is delivering a government that New Yorkers can be proud of.
This year’s Executive Budget is balanced while limiting spending growth to no greater than two percent. The current year is expected to end in surplus and with Governor Cuomo’s steadfast commitment to fiscal responsibility, future surpluses are expected to grow.
The Executive Budget reduces spending in 2014-15 by nearly $2 billion compared to prior projections, continuing the Governor’s focus on spending constraint. These savings are recurring and expected to grow in value in the future years. The Budget also makes sizable new investments in education and health care, including $1.5 billion for a fully funded Universal Full-Day Pre-K program and $720 million for an after school program over five years, and a $2 billion Smart Schools bond act.
Editor’s Note: we understand that this one hour and thirteen minute speech is long but we think it is important to the residents of Harlem since it effects each and everyone of us.