Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Skelos, and Assembly Speaker Silver
Agreement on 2011-2012 New York State Budget
Budget Provides Transformational Plan for State
Albany, NY (March 27, 2011)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean
Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced an agreement
on a 2011-2012 budget that eliminates a $10 billion deficit.
The agreement includes historic reforms that redesign
state government, create efficiencies through consolidation, cap
spending increases for education and Medicaid, and transform the future
The approximately $132.5 billion budget will reduce
spending overall by over 2 percent from the current year, eliminate
3,700 prison beds, establish regional economic development councils,
bring performance funding to education, redesign Medicaid, and cap next
year's education and Medicaid spending.
This budget reaches its financial goals with no new taxes
and no borrowing, and will also cut next year's projected budget
deficit from $15 billion to about $2 billion.
Recent changes to the budget include an additional $272
million in education which includes restoration of funding for schools
for the blind and deaf (4201) and summer school special education.
Human services funding of $91 million was added and $86 million for
higher education including SUNY hospitals, SUNY and CUNY community
colleges. There are also miscellaneous program additions of $33 million
including aid to localities and agriculture programs. The budget
proposal requires the Office of Court Administration (OCA) to reduce
its budget by $170 million to reflect a more proportionate share of the
state's reductions. There were also $54 million in miscellaneous cuts.
As a result, the net add spending to this budget is approximately $250
million. In addition, there are no new member items.
"I have said that New York is at a crossroads - one
road leading to further dysfunction and decline, the other towards
fiscal responsibility and government efficiency. I believe this budget
puts us on the right path," Governor Cuomo said. "This budget
makes tough choices, which is what you sent me to Albany to do. It
closes a $10 billion dollar deficit with no new taxes or borrowing,
redesigns government to force it to cut waste and inefficiency, and
finally delivers real results for hard-working families across New York
State. I applaud and thank Majority Leader Skelos and Speaker Silver
for working together to reach this agreement."
Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said, "This
budget agreement keeps our Senate Republican commitment to reduce spending,
cut taxes and empower the private sector to create jobs, and will begin
to put New York on the path to fiscal recovery. By working together to
reach consensus on a responsible spending plan that eliminates a $10
billion deficit without raising taxes, we have tightened our belt and
protected middle-class families in every region of this State. I am
particularly pleased with Governor Cuomo's commitment to making UB2020
a reality, which will bring jobs and hope to Western New York, as well
as improvements to the other university centers, which are important
priorities of our Senate Republican conference. Today's developments
ensure we are moving full speed ahead to an on-time budget."
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, "Speaking for
the Assembly Majority, I commend Governor Cuomo for his leadership in
bringing about this agreement and for providing the Legislature with an
executive budget that was strong and firmly grounded in reality.
Government had to tighten its belt with the same sense of urgency that
working families have been tightening their belts since the economy
went into freefall in 2008. The sole consolation is that working with
the Governor, we were able to achieve critical restorations which will
soften the cuts affecting working families, our senior citizens, our
most vulnerable populations and the children in our classrooms."
The 2011-2012 budget agreement contains critical
components first proposed in Governor Cuomo's executive budget,
redesigning Medicaid and recalibrating the cost of state
government, in part, by merging and consolidating agencies as well as
curbing spending growth to sustainable and affordable levels.
Policy reforms in the 2011-2012 budget include:
* Changing Permanent Law and Provides 2-Year Appropriations
and Caps for Education and Medicaid: Education will be increased at a
rate of personal income growth next year - roughly 4 percent. Medicaid
will be increased at a rate tied to healthcare CPI which is roughly 4
percent. Together, these actions reduce next year's deficit from about
$15 billion to about $2 billion and change decades-old practice of
* Redesigning the Medicaid System: The budget includes a
global cap on State Medicaid expenditures of approximately $15 billion
and implementation of the majority of recommendations by the Medicaid
Redesign Team (MRT) to redesign and restructure the Medicaid program to
be more efficient and get better results for patients. There are
reallocations within the MRT cap that reduce some areas while targeting
increases to others. Among the notable changes: the cap on medical
malpractice is not included and EPIC is increased by $22 million. The
MRT reduction of $2.8 billion and the overall spending cap to the state
will be enforced by the Department of Health's "superpower"
provision, whereby the commissioner has authority to make reductions
during the year to enforce the cap.
* Creating Regional Economic Development Councils: The
budget establishes 10 Regional Economic Development Councils, chaired
by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy. These councils will create a
region-based approach to allocate economic development funds to speed
up the creation of jobs. They will act as one-stop shop for all
State-supported economic development and business assistance programs
in each region, and will be supported with $130 million in capital that
is reprogrammed from existing resources.
* Creating the Recharge NY Power Program: Recharge New
York will enhance and make permanent the current Power for Jobs Program
that will significantly boost the state's economy by creating and
maintaining hundreds of thousands of jobs. Recharge New York will
improve upon the existing program by opening it to new participants and
allocating a blend of stable, low-cost hydropower and market power for
use by businesses that seek to grow and create jobs in New York state.
* Authorizing the SAGE Commission: The budget authorizes
Governor Cuomo's Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission
to reduce the number of agencies, authorities, and commissions by 20
percent. Currently, the consolidation of Parole and Corrections will
save $16.8 million, the merging of NYSTAR into Department of Economic
Development will save $1.9 million, and the merging of Consumer
Protection into the Department of State will save $500,000.
* Creating the Department of Financial Services: The
budget merges the state's Banking and Insurance Departments into a new
Department of Financial Services.
* Authorizing Governor to Close Prisons: The state will
eliminate 3,700 prison beds throughout New York at the sole discretion
of the administration in consultation with the Legislature.
* UB 2020: The Governor has also agreed to hold a summit
with stakeholders to discuss how to make UB 2020 a reality.
* Reforming the Juvenile Justice System: The budget
includes significant reforms of the state's juvenile justice system by
encouraging greater use of community-based alternatives, downsizing the
state juvenile facilities system by more than 30 percent, and investing
resources into enhanced services for juveniles that remain in OCFS
* Creating New Education Performance and Efficiency
Grants: The budget enacts initiatives Governor Cuomo proposed to make
districts more efficient and improve student performance. Funds
totaling $500 million will be awarded competitively to districts that
demonstrate significant improvements in student performance and to
districts that undertake long term structural changes to reduce costs
and improve efficiency. The budget also restores $270 million in
education related funding.
* Improving the Excelsior Jobs Program: As proposed in the
executive budget, the budget strengthens the Excelsior Jobs Program,
which was created in 2010 to provide job creation and investment tax
credit incentives to businesses in targeted industries.