March 16 , 2001

Focus on the
            State Budget

From the NYS Assembly    Black Square     Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Herman D. Farrell, Jr., Chair, Ways & Means Committee

The Assembly has a record of accurately forecasting
state revenues available to raise educational
standards, keep quality health care affordable,
and meet the needs of New Yorkers

The Governor underestimated New York’s revenues by more than $10.1 billion
over the past six years, resulting in missed opportunities for working families

Projecting the amount of revenue New York State will have available in a coming year is a vital first step toward crafting a balanced state budget that invests in the needs of New Yorkers. We can’t raise standards in our schools and keep college affordable, cut taxes for businesses and working families, and keep quality health care affordable if we don’t know what resources we have to work with.

Over the past six years, the Governor significantly underestimated state revenues by more than $10.1 billion. Meanwhile, year after year, he’s proposed budgets that slashed state funding for education, health care and other essential services the state provides for its residents –– resulting in missed opportunities for New Yorkers.

The Assembly fought the Governor’s harmful and unnecessary
cuts every step of the way, standing up for working
families –– and winning.

Time and time again, the Assembly’s revenue forecasts have proven to be more accurate than the Governor’s. Armed with this knowledge, the Assembly fought for, and won, historic state investments in our children’s education, restored critical health care funding and cut taxes for businesses and working families by nearly $13 billion since 1994.

The Assembly’s 2001-2002 economic forecast
points to continued growth –– and
independent experts agree.

Although the current national economic expansion has slowed, modest growth is expected to continue in New York State and across the country, according to the extensive analysis and detailed forecast data prepared by the Assembly’s Ways & Means Committee.

Over the two-year forecasting period, the Assembly projects the Governor will underestimate receipts by approximately $2.152 billion. On March 2nd, the state had already reached the Governor’s projected revenue forecast for the entire fiscal year that was included in his proposed 2000-2001 budget. On March 6th, the state reached the level of revenues agreed to in the final 2000-2001 state budget. During the last six years, the Governor has consistently underforecasted receipts. His errors have ranged from $546 million to $2.4 billion –– in total, the Governor’s been off the mark by more than $10.1 billion since 1995.

The Assembly’s analysis includes recommendations made by an independent panel of professional economists drawn from major financial corporations, prestigious universities, and private forecasters across the state. For 17 years, these independent professionals have provided their expertise in evaluating the Assembly’s economic and revenue reports.

Again this year, the Assembly will fight to ensure these revenues
are used wisely –– for education and health care needs and to
strengthen the economy in communities across the state.

PLEASE NOTE: For additional information, see the Assembly reports entitled New York State
Revenue Report 2000-01 and 2001-02
, and New York State Economic Report for 2000 and 2001.

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