New York Governor Cuomo proposes 2013 fiscal budget

NEW YORK CITY —New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed Tuesday a $132.5 billion 2013 budget, which doesn’t include any tax increases, but does have more funding for education and health care, the Associated Press reported.

The budget was released today in Albany, the state’s capital, closing a $2 billion deficit in part by finding $1.14 billion in agency savings and centralizing purchasing and human resources, Bloomberg reported.

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Cuomo’s second annual budget as governor includes about a 2 percent decrease in state spending, but total spending, which includes federal funds tied to state spending, will be mostly flat, the AP reported. Cuomo also proposed that school districts must implement changes, such as tougher evaluations for teachers and principals, or aid will be withheld from the school if they fail to do so.

After three years of deep cuts, higher education funding is flat. Cuomo did propose a second annual increase of $300 in year tuition for students in the State University of New York and City University of New York, the AP reported.

A radical change in pension plans for new employees was also made, by raising the retirement age and giving them an option between a state-backed pension with higher employee contributions and a 401(k) plan, Bloomberg reported.

The outstanding state-related debt is expected to rise by $1.1 billion to a total of $58.1 billion in the 2013 fiscal year, Reuters reported. The budget proposal also states about $5.1 billion of bonds would be sold for new capital projects.

The Democrat governor also asked the legislature to grant him the ability to spend up to $500 million from the Debt Reduction Reserve Fund in order to cut debt and keep bonding capacity below debt caps, Reuters reported.

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