New York State’s constitution requires the governor to provide the state legislature with a yearly balanced budget proposal including the necessary appropriation bills and legislation. The Legislature reviews the proposed executive budget and offers changes or modifications and enacts the state budget.

As is customary, Governor Cuomo presented his proposed Executive Budget for FY 21-22 in January which was followed by a review and analysis from both legislative houses. The Assembly Ways and Means Committee’s Review and Analysis of the 2021-22 Executive Budget is known as the “Yellow Book” due to the color of its cover and the Senate Finance Committee publication is known as the “White Book” due to the color of its cover.

Now the public has the opportunity to weigh in to help craft the state budget. Joint public hearings have been taking place beginning in January and the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) offered testimony on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, at the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Taxes.

Statement from Dr. Jonas Shaende, Chief Economist:

“This year’s state budget is truly historic. New Yorkers are relying on a plan that will keep them afloat and set a course for rebuilding our economy in the midst of a pandemic.  The state absolutely requires the federal government’s assistance to navigate the full scope of COVID-19’s health and fiscal challenges. But more than immediate relief is needed.

As we work on identifying practical solutions for the short term, our longer-term goals should include creating a more just tax structure, reducing our state’s monumental wage gap, and ensuring that every child receives a quality, public education. The state has a responsibility to provide cash-strapped local governments, schools, small businesses, and social programs the necessary support for stable communities and to build a firm foundation for the future. There is no single solution or easy answer. This crisis requires bold vision and the willingness to examine both corporate and individual tax policies.”

More information on suggested policy actions can be found on FPI’s website.

The Fiscal Policy Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and education organization committed to improving public policies and private practices to better the economic and social conditions of all.