NY has limited options when it comes to closing $6.1 billion budget gap

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — When it comes to the estimated $6.1 billion gap in the New York State Budget, lawmakers may be faced with raising revenues or cutting spending.

The state Medicaid shortfall is an issue the Senate Majority leader calls “extremely concerning.”

“It’s serious and it seems to be growing, so we need to really look at how we can manage this without really jeopardizing, obviously the health, but all the other things that New Yorkers are used to having,” said Andrea Stewart-Cousins, New York State Senate Majority Leader.

In looking at what the state could do to get back on balance, she says the solutions would have to be things that kick in sooner rather than later. And even if the state were to legalize and tax marijuana next session:

“Even with marijuana, that revenue is not an instant revenue, so we have an immediate problem,” Stewart-Cousins said. “Just to be clear, we are obviously concerned. It is critical. Our first fall back thing isn’t ‘let’s raise taxes.’”

Meanwhile, New York GOP Chair Nick Langworthy says the state has “ridiculously generous Medicaid benefits.”

“There’s a lot of caution that needs to be in front of these legislators when they go on a spending binge, when they get back into town, that they better be very careful and figure out how they pay for it,” Langworthy said.

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