New York can save $30 billion over three years by implementing a variety cost cuts and reductions, a report released Monday by the Empire Center for New York State Policy said.
“Like a runaway train, New York’s budget is in danger of derailing,” E.J. McMahon, director of the Empire Center and co-author of the report, said in a statement. “It needs to be brought under control, before it’s too late.”
The 76-page report is titled Blueprint for a Better Budget: A Plan of Action for New York State.
“The Blueprint shows that New York’s legislative leaders could fix the budget problem by summoning the political will to take action to lower the cost of government,” said Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of the Business Council of New York State Inc.
“Many of the recommendations reflect the same critically important focus on reducing government spending that the Business Council has long advocated for.”
Options in the report include savings of $8.5 billion over the next three years by reducing and capping projected growth in aid to state schools, including a wage freeze and a cap on property tax levies.
Other three-year savings include $7.8 billion in Medicaid and health care spending; $3.8 billion in state work force costs by freezing salaries, instituting a 40-hour work week and requiring employees to cover a larger share of benefit costs; and $1.2 billion by giving SUNY and CUNY greater flexibility to set their own tuitions and manage their own affairs.
“It is clear to anyone paying attention that New York State government must fundamentally change its ways for the survival of our economy,” said Michael Elmendorf, New York director for the National Federation of Independent Business, in a statement supporting the ideas.
“We are at a critical point, and failure to take appropriate action now will further weaken our already anemic economy, hindering it for many years to come and speeding the exodus of people, jobs and opportunity from our state. Now is the time for real leadership and tough choices, not Albany business-as-usual.”
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