Last week, Monday, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli issued his report on the recently-enacted 2014-15 state budget. The report finds that the state ended the previous state fiscal year “in the strongest fiscal position in years.”
The report notes that the state will be putting $175 million into its “rainy day” fund, relies on $4.9 billion in temporary state resources and also authorizes approximately $7.6 billion in new debt, most of which will be issued by public authorities without voter approval.
Comptroller DiNapoli said:
“After a tough few years, New York state is in better fiscal shape thanks to an improving economy and difficult fiscal choices made by the Governor and the Legislature. The on-time Enacted Budget seeks to keep spending growth to less than 2 percent while providing increased aid for schools and tax cuts. Past budget practices that had largely been curtailed, such as distributing large sums of money outside of the budget process, have once again appeared in this year’s budget. My concern continues to be for New York to achieve long-term structural budget balance. When the Financial Plan is updated I hope there will be more definition on how that goal will be reached.
We share the Comptroller’s concerns. While the state is in a much better place today than it was just a few years ago, there is still a lot of room for improvement in terms of the state’s taxing, spending and borrowing practices.