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September 3, 1999 

Standard & Poor's budget analysis

Standard & Poor's, a leading bond-rating firm on Wall Street, has praised the New York State budget.

"While budget adoption continues to be late, New York State's long history of marginally balanced budgets and large accumulated deficits has been reversed and, on a budget basis, surplus operations have now been achieved consistently," S&P's publication CreditWeek Municipal said in its August 16 edition.

The article noted that New York State has had surpluses in seven of the last eight years, and that the current budget year is likely to end with another surplus because the late budget constrained spending to last year's levels before the budget was adopted.

The article singled out the decision to set aside part of the surplus to ensure future tax cuts already enacted.

The article also noted that New York state, unlike other states, has "no assumed uses of monies from the tobacco settlement in the state budget." New York's portion of the settlement is estimated at $12.8 billion, the article noted.

The publication also singled out New York's decreasing reliance on one-shot revenue sources to balance operations.