New York State's Budget Could Have Been Much Worse

Albany's brand new budget deal is a hybrid of the harsh right-wing politics and policy of 2010 and the OWS-influenced politics of 2012.  The budget has fewer tax cuts and fewer cuts to programs than the policies that dominated the first year of the Cuomo Administration.  School aid and health care will get improved financial support from the state, and public assistance for the neediest will increase, albeit federally funded.  But this comes at a serious cost, the major erosion of pension benefits for state workers, in the name of future budget savings and a continuation of corporate giveaways in the name of economic development

Much attention was paid to the maneuvers used to fund the MTA Capital Plan in this new budget deal. It had to be funded to secure investments in new systems and repairs that keep the trains and buses running for millions of New Yorkers.  But the funding was the same as used in the Pataki years, fare-based borrowing which yields inevitable fare increases as the bonds are repaid.  No major increase in state support for the MTA was forthcoming, leaving the authority with serious budget issues yet again.