ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has outlined his legislative priorities for 2020, the next step is figuring out how to pay for his proposals.
“Today, we face a $6 billion gap attributable largely to our Medicaid cost,” Cuomo said.
And it’s an issue the state will need to deal with this session. In March, the state deferred a $1.7 billion Medicaid payment into the next fiscal year.
David Friedfel with the Citizens Budget Commission says it will be important for the state to further control spending moving forward.
“Revenues are coming in on target or above target, so the revenues are coming in,” he said. “It’s just that spending is exceeding the budget, and it’s exceeding revenues.”
Friedfel says the state should also work to build up its rainy day reserves.
“We’re about 10 years into an economic expansion, the longest one since economists have been recording them,” he explained. “The state has about $2.5 billion in their rainy day reserves, and a recession would likely reduce revenues by about $34 billion.”
Friedfel also cautions against overestimating how much a legalized marijuana industry could bring in if it were approved.
“So we’ve looked at other states, and it takes most other states about a year and a half and two years before they have a mature recreational marijuana market and when revenue really starts to come in.”