Government Affairs Albany Update
November 18, 2011
All ten councils released their strategic economic development plans this week. These plans are intended to guide state support for regional development efforts over the next five years and, more immediately, will be the basis for awarding of up to $200 million in economic development assistance. All strategic plans are available on line here.
The Regional Councils will be making formal presentations to Administration officials and a newly designated Review Committee the week after Thanksgiving in Albany. ESDC’s announcement on the review process for the $200 million in initial competitive awards is available here. We will circulate summaries of the regional plans early next week.
State Finance Law requires the Administration and State Legislature to issue mid-November receipt and expenditure projections for the current and upcoming fiscal years. These “quick start” budgeting requirements are intended to precipitate advanced discussions on the state budget for the new fiscal year beginning April 1, 2012. The Executive Budget is due out Tuesday, January 17. To date, we have:
- The Division of Budget has issued their mid year budget update, which shows a current year General Fund budget shortfall of $350 million. It said that DOB is developing administrative cost savings plan; if they are unable to address the current gap administratively, the Governor would call the legislature back for special session to consider additional actions. In addition, the plan’s updated projections for FY 2012-13 indicate a gap between projected income and spending in the $3 to $3.5 billion range, up from the $2.3 billion projected gap when the current budget was finalized last April. The full report available here.
- The State Comptroller’s report describes the current year’s shortfall as “manageable,” without specifying a projected FY 2012 budget gap. Their projections suggest revenues about $300 million above DoB’s projections contained in their mid-year report, but spending about $100 million higher as well, suggesting a gap in the $200 million range.
The Comptroller also estimates significant next year and out year gaps, but for FY 2013 projects both higher state income and higher state spending than projected by DoB. The report came out prior to DoB’s mid year report, and states that the Comptroller’s projections will be revised based DoB’s new numbers. An overview and full report are available here.
- The Senate Majority has yet to release their fiscal report; their web sit contains a statement that “Senate Republicans continue to believe that it is both possible and necessary to manage next year’s budget much like we did this year, when the Legislature and Governor eliminated a much larger deficit without raising taxes.”
- The Assembly’s report, available here, projects FY 2012 all funds tax revenues at about the same level as DoB. And while it does not present an all funds disbursement projection for either FY 2012 or the new budget year, it states that it projects Medicaid spending to be lower, and public assistance expenditures to be higher, than projected by the Administration. It also does not include any specific projections of budget gaps for FY 2012 or 2013.
“Apples to apples” comparisons among these projections are difficult, because their data is presented in different formats. We are working on a tabular presentation on key findings, and will distribute it once we have the remaining legislative forecasts.