On Friday, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released his annual report on the state’s financial condition.  The report finds that while total state spending decreased 1 percent ($1.3 billion) from the prior year, state spending has grown by 15 percent since 2008 – nearly twice the rate of inflation.

The report also noted that the state faces budget deficits in upcoming years — $982 million in state fiscal year 2013-14, and $3.6 billion and $4.4 billion in fiscal years 2014-15 and 2015-16, respectively.

The report also found:

  • State spending has been partially paid for through borrowing $17.2 billion since 2008, including $3.8 billion in 2012;
  • Public health and education spending represents 68 percent of total state spending;
  • Medicaid costs rose to $ 41.4 billion in fiscal year 2011-12 from $32.8 billion four years ago;
  • Receipts have increased $17.4 billion, or 15 percent, since 2008;
  • New York ranked first among the 50 states in spending on public elementary and secondary education with per pupil expenditures of $18,618 for the 2009-10 school year; and
  • State funded debt totaled $63.3 billion in fiscal year 2011-12 which is $3,253 per person and 6.4 percent of personal income.

Unfortunately, the comptroller’s report shows that our fiscal challenges will not be ending any time soon.  The only way we can get the fiscal albatross off of our back is to grow our economy and not repeat the same mistakes.  That means electing the right people 22 days from now.