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The Empire

How Cuomo Frames the Budget

"It wasn't easy, but we overcame the special interests and the lobbyists, and we did the people's business in Albany," Cuomo says in a video message on his website this morning.

And from Cuomo's 1:13am Press Release:

The Big Picture

The 2011-2012 state budget contains no new taxes, includes 2-year appropriations for education and Medicaid, caps the growth of both education and Medicaid spending, closes unneeded and outdated state-run facilities and includes no new funding for member items.

Counting on Labor Concessions

    State operations reductions will total $1.4 billion for 2011-12. This includes workforce cost reductions by $450 million. Negotiations are ongoing with unions to avoid the last-resort option of up to 9,800 layoffs.

Rationale for $1.3 Billion in Education Cuts

The budget realigns education financing to meet New York's fiscal reality and provide sustainable and predictable funding while reaffirming the commitment to improve educational outcomes in the classroom. Prior to this budget, education spending was projected to grow at an unaffordable rate of 13 percent for the 2011-12 school year.

How Redesign Recommendations Will Contain Medicaid

Overall, the budget implements a majority of the MRT recommendations. The budget reflects $2.3 billion in spending reductions supplemented by $425 million in lower-than-expected expenditures to achieve the Governor's original savings target of $2.85 billion.

The budget implements significant reforms including a major expansion of patient-centered medical homes, better control of home health care services, and care management for individuals with complex and continuing health care needs. New models of integrated care, such as Accountable Care Organizations, will help assure long-term control of health care spending.

Savings will be assured by an overall spending cap, enabling the Commissioner of Health to make additional savings actions during the year, if necessary.

Tradeoff for Closing Prisons

    To off-set the impact of local prison and juvenile justice facility closures the budget includes a new tax credit program that will incentivize the creation of new businesses in those communities where the closures occur.

On Local Cost Shift

The budget reduces Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) to all cities, towns and villages by 2 percent from current year levels, far less than the 10 percent reductions to the state's operations.

Results of Cuomo's Impassioned Call for Juvenile Justice Reform

The budget reforms the state's juvenile justice system to encourage greater use of community-based alternatives, while downsizing the state juvenile facilities system by more than 30 percent and investing in enhanced services for juveniles that remain in OCFS custody.