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DiNapoli grades Paterson’s budget proposal

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli gave Gov. David Paterson’s proposed executive budget mixed reviews in a report released Tuesday.

DiNapoli grades Paterson’s budget proposal

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli gave Gov. David Paterson’s proposed executive budget mixed reviews in a report released Tuesday.
DiNapoli noted the proposal takes steps toward aligning spending with available revenues. However, he said, it also has a number of risks that could result in the failure of revenue and savings to be realized. DiNapoli also said the state continues to face long-term structural budget imbalance.
Paterson’s budget proposal uses various cost-saving measures, non-recurring resources and new taxes, fees, charges and assessments to close a $1.7 billion budget deficit in fiscal year 2008-09 and a $13.7 billion gap in 2009-10, DiNapoli’s report shows.
Among the findings are: spending continues to rise faster than revenues and reliance on debt is still too high. The report also states that with the proposed actions a budget gap remains, but it is reduced, noting the projected deficit for 2012-13 would fall to $5.5 billion from the current projection of $19.6 billion. The total deficit for fiscal years 2010-11 through 2012-13 would fall from a projected $55.3 billion to $11.4 billion.
The report also outlines the impact of the proposed budget on local governments, Medicaid and education.
“The governor has struggled to present a balanced budget in the face of an unprecedented financial crisis,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “It’s a step in the right direction, but there are risks in the governor’s plan. Many of the proposed revenue raisers and spending reductions may not be enacted or realized. And even though the governor is pushing for more pay-as-you-go capital projects, debt levels are still too high.”
The entire report may be reviewed at www.osc.state.ny

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