Budget increase to hold at 2%


Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s fiscal chief is pushing to hold next year’s state budget to a 2 percent increase, and is directing agency heads to once again submit “zero growth” spending requests.

The only extra investments will be in Medicaid and K-12 education, according to a letter sent Tuesday to commissioners from Budget Director Robert Megna.

The goal is a fourth consecutive on-time budget, following three years of limited agency growth.

Megna’s latest memo does not answer how Cuomo will honor a recent pledge to campaign donors to cut taxes in 2014-2015.

However, if the financial business sector has a more robust year than predicted, increased tax revenues from it could help pay for tax cuts, some fiscal observers say.

Outside of education and Medicaid, “The governor is committed to keeping overall spending growth to 2 percent or less over the course of his administration,” Megna wrote. He advised commissioners to expect another flat budget in 2015-16.

The new fiscal year begins April 1, and will be past its midpoint when Cuomo faces re-election. This year’s budget, which runs through March 31, includes $136.9 billion, up 1.8 percent. It includes $90.22 billion in state operating funds, up 1.55 percent.

The next budget will require planners to ………..

Source: Budget increase to hold at 2%

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