ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) (UPDATED) - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Tuesday his state will sue if Congress doesn’t send $15 billion in unrestricted emergency COVID-19 aid.
He presented two vastly different budget scenarios for if Congress provides New York with $6 billion or if New York receives $15 billion.
The state is facing a dramatic loss in sales and income tax revenue in the wake of sweeping COVID-19 restrictions that drastically reduced last February’s budget projections.
The governor blamed President Donald Trump’s administration for allowing COVID-19 to hit New York and the rest of the nation.
New York is nearing 42,000 deaths of people who had COVID-19, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University.
To view the full FY 2022 Executive Budget Briefing Book PDF, click here.
Below are statements released by local leaders regarding Cuomo's budget address.
State Sen. Jim Tedisco, R-49
“Governor Cuomo’s blame game budget presentation made us all mindful of the child who was before the judge for killing his parents and pleaded for mercy – for after all – he was an orphan!
“From listening to the Governor’s presentation, one would think it’s everyone else’s responsibility for balancing New York State’s budget but his. Other than selling drugs and trying to get more gambling dollars, which would provide minimal revenue and bring a whole new set of safety and financial costs, the Governor presented zero proposals or a realistic plan to make New York economically viable going forward.
“Governor Cuomo’s blame game budget proposal was just more of the same tired rhetoric accusing the federal government and just about everyone and everything else for New York State’s woes and not taking any responsibility for his own failed leadership.
“And once again, the Governor refused to talk about the elephant in the room, which is the fact that New York State is number one in taxes and coincidentally again leads the nation in outmigration of residents with 126,000 people leaving last year and over one million in the past decade of his watch, which will likely lead to the state losing two congressional seats in the next redistricting.
“The millions who have fled our state and those who are now contemplating their exodus to a more taxpayer-friendly state have one thing in common: No one wants to be the last one left in New York to pay for our state’s overzealous taxes, regulations, mandates and laws. The last thing the state should be doing is raising taxes again. We need both a short term plan to address the budget deficit and a long term policy of moderation and common sense – not more social experimentation on the taxpayer’s dime!”
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli
“Gov. Cuomo put forward a state budget proposal during one of the most difficult times faced by our state. The pandemic is far from over, and it continues to have damaging effects on our revenues and spending. While our state economy has improved, state tax receipts are still $2.5 billion below the same point last year.
“As the Governor pointed out, without federal action communities around the state may face devastating cuts with serious consequences for New Yorkers. I am encouraged by the incoming Biden-Harris administration’s plan to provide additional help for state and local governments, but we need this aid soon.
“My office will release a more detailed analysis of the budget proposal in the coming days.”
New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy
“Cuomo’s so-called budget address was a joke. It was exactly like everything else he does--a political performance with no substance or details. Cuomo is due for a major reality check when his Party’s total Democrat control in Washington and New York will leave him with no one to blame for his failures. New York is facing serious challenges that demand serious leaders. The emperor has no clothes.”
Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-101
“The governor’s budget address gave no clarity on our state’s financial outlook. There was no financial plan, no direction to move our state forward. We have two terrible scenarios ahead, which we anticipated.
"New York needs to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, and that means tough choices will need to be made. Now is not the time to be focusing on blame, however. As we move forward with a spending plan, we need to spend the state’s resources slowly, moving us closer to recovery from the pandemic.
"Our priorities need to ensure we can meet the challenges we face as best as possible in this terrible financial situation. As we continue negotiating a final budget, we cannot allow costs to be passed down to our local governments or, ultimately, to taxpayers.”
New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta
“This tale of two budgets is stark and a clear message to Washington that New York needs its fair share in additional stimulus funding. We agree. But, as we’ve said since last year, a two-pronged approach to the state’s fiscal crisis that includes additional federal funding for public services and new state taxes on the ultrawealthy is a long-term imperative.
“It’s a positive signal to hear that the governor’s best case scenario budget would turn fair funding from Washington into significant resources for K-12 education, higher education and health care. However, under the ‘worst case scenario,’ using federal money while reducing the state’s share of education funding — rather than supplementing state funding — is reminiscent of the Gap Elimination Adjustment we fought for years to close. As a state, we can’t afford to view cuts of any kind to public schools and colleges, public health care, and other public services funded by state and local governments as a default option — especially when the billionaire class has seen its wealth grow as millions of New York families have struggled during this pandemic.
“We look forward to reviewing the executive budget legislation in detail and amplifying the voices of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers in education, higher education, human services and health care in Albany and Washington in the months ahead to fight for a budget that meets New Yorkers’ needs during this COVID crisis.”
State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-51
“As a small business owner, I am used to reviewing budget spreadsheets. Unfortunately today’s presentation from the governor failed to include many of the details needed to truly assess his spending proposal. Blaming Washington for our woes and threatening lawsuits is not the best path forward.
“Help for small businesses, aid for our schools, and a real tax relief plan for our upstate homeowners are key to helping our state recover. I will be reviewing the governor’s plan with an eye toward these and other key items that will restart our local economies.
“Tax credits for businesses and plans to improve broadband access are among the positives I did hear, but the specifics are what count. Infrastructure improvements are also sorely needed and upstate New York needs to receive a fair share of funding to improve our roads and bridges.
“I look forward to taking part in the upcoming budget hearings to fully review the governor’s proposal and help develop a final plan that meets the needs of those I represent and establishes a strong foundation for our future.”
Unshackle Upstate Executive Director Justin Wilcox
“Governor Cuomo’s employer-centric recovery proposals reflect the importance of helping small businesses recover and rehiring workers. While these proposals are a solid first step, we need to go much further. Advancing broad-based tax relief, regulatory reforms and COVID-related protections will give struggling employers much-needed relief during this critical time.
However, large tax hikes, new fees and other regressive measures must be rejected moving forward. Chasing away taxpayers and employers will only worsen the state's economic crisis. That’s not what New York needs right now.
It's time to embrace pro-growth policies that will rebuild our economy and revive our communities.”