Taxes, salaries and benefits must be on the agenda

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff.

Erika RosenbergDespite the scale of the state’s financial problems, Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo and the wizards in the Department of Budget could probably find ways to paper over them for a few years and hope an eventual rebound in revenues will eliminate the need to inflict any real pain.

But to be considered truly successful, Cuomo should embrace the challenge of putting the state, local governments and schools on a path toward a long-term stable financial future. Read more »

The state’s deficit problem is political, not technical

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff, Rochester Business Journal.

Kent GardnerThis week’s conference on the state’s budget crisis—sponsored by the Empire Center on State Policy and the Center for Governmental Research Inc.—was organized around a technical question: What can be cut from New York’s budget to fix a deficit estimated (today, at least) at $12.5 billion? Yet the overriding problem is not technical but political. My colleague Erika Rosenberg, moderator of one of the sessions, asked the panelists this question: “What’s it going to take for the Legislature to make the unpopular decisions that are needed to balance the budget?”

Gov. David Paterson made the correct technical decision in calling the Legislature back for a special session on Nov. 18. Yet the brutal reality of New York politics eliminated any possibility of progress. With control of the state Senate still in question and the political risks starkly clear, the session never convened.

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