The legislative conferences were supposed to release their budget projections for the 2012-13 fiscal year by Saturday. But it doesn’t appear the majority conferences are planning to release their estimates soon.
Neither is the governor’s office. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget director Robert Megna said this morning that the revenue projections — as well as the budget shortfall for next year — isn’t finished yet because of the global economic volatility. The Post’s Fred Dicker reported this morning that the state’s mid-year shortfall is about $200 million.
Both the Assembly and Senate majorities indicated they are also not ready to release their own budget projections, citing similar global market concerns.
“It’s too early to predict with certainty the size of next year’s deficit, although we’re confident that we’ll be able to manage it much like we did this year, when Senate Republicans worked with the Governor to eliminate a $10 billion deficit without raising taxes,” said Senate Republicans’ spokesman Scott Reif. “At this time, we are only six months into the fiscal year and our Senate finance staff continues to closely monitor the situation.”
Michael Wyland, spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, said: “The speaker plans on meeting with our Board of Economic Advisers in the near future to review the outlook and estimates for the coming year.”
Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, Ontario County, told Gannett that his conference too is waiting on their estimates until they get a chance to review Cuomo’s numbers.
The only conference to release their numbers today was Senate Democrats, who pegged the mid-year budget deficit at $249 million with a $3 billion deficit in the 2012-13 fiscal year, which starts April 1. Cuomo’s budget team currently has the deficit for next year at $2.4 billion, and hasn’t indicated if there will be a mid-year gap, though Cuomo has said the fiscal picture is worsening.
Called the “quick start” budget process, it was adopted in 2007 under then-new Gov. Eliot Spitzer. The goal has been to get away from the once long-standing fight over revenue projections in Albany by having the sides agree on revenue forecasts before the governor releases his budget proposal in January.
E.J. McMahon told Capital Tonight that market volatility isn’t new.