Gov. Andrew Cuomo will lay out his $132 billion budget plan this afternoon, proposing to keep state spending below 2 percent and focusing on helping the upstate economy.
Cuomo, his office said, is going to keep to his pledge to include no new taxes or fees in his 2013-14 spending proposal and to close more than a $1 billion deficit for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts April 1.
The Democratic governor, now in his third year in office, will unveil his budget proposal at 2 p.m. near the state Capitol. Lawmakers have until March 31 to approve or modify his plan.
Cuomo is expected to focus on ways to spur the upstate economy, which has yet to rebound under his watch.
The state’s unemployment rate in December fell slightly from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday. New York’s unemployment rate, however, is still above the national average of 7.8 percent.
Cuomo is expected to discuss ways to use tourism to boost the upstate economy, as well as tax incentives to create new businesses. In his State of the State address Jan. 9, Cuomo called for three upstate casinos to help the economy.
He is also expected to discuss unfunded state mandates on local governments—who have warned that state costs are crippling their budgets.
“I’m going to take it more as an opportunity for what can we be doing affirmatively, but there’s not going to be any major problems revealed,” Cuomo said Thursday on 1300-AM (WGDJ) in Albany.
Cuomo will also detail how to spend more than $853 million in new school aid—which would a scheduled 4 percent increase over the current fiscal year. Cuomo is planning to call for competitive grant programs to fund more pre-kindergarten programs and an expanded school day.