Daily Stock Market Reports

No changes to budget, for now, amid global uncertainty

New York’s state budget is being negotiated against the backdrop of increasing global uncertainty: war in Europe, rising gas prices and sanctions meant to stymie Russia’s attack on Ukraine. 

For now, Gov. Kathy Hochul is not making any changes to her proposed $216 billion spending plan with those concerns in mind. But she said Tuesday during a stop in suburban Albany County the future-year revenue that projected billions of dollars in budget surplus can’t be counted on. 

“Everything that we’re putting in the budget we’re going to be able to fund, but I’m also very cognizant of the fact that we could be facing a recession,” she said. “I cannot count on the revenues, the tax receipts as well as the stock market revenues, being there for us next year.”

It was only a few months ago the governor’s budget office was projecting billions of dollars in additional money that could help fund schools and health care for the next several years. The state’s finances were turbo-charged by a combination of federal pandemic relief and tax increases on upper-income earners. 

But the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in the last several weeks has led to fresh uncertainty around the global economy and for New York state. Gas prices have topped $4 a gallon on average, and could go higher still. Hochul has been hesitant to back a suspension of the state’s sales tax on gasoline, pointing to the effect this could have on budgets.  

And she added the high gas prices also hurt New York’s bottom line as well. 

“It hits our consumers, but it also raises our expenses to do business as a state government,” she said. 

Hochul pointed to the billions of dollars she wants set aside into a reserve fund in order to bolster the state’s finances against a potential economic downturn. 

“We may be having to get ourselves out of a recession,” she said. 

The budget is expected to pass at the end of the month. Her predecessor, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, placed an emphasis on having the budget approved “on time” — by the start of the state’s fiscal year on April 1. 

Hochul indicated Tuesday she is placing a similar emphasis if only for “stability” for organizations and local governments that depend on state funding. 

“On-time or close to on-time budgets is very important,” she said. “Localities need certainty.”

State budget talks in the past had routinely gone through April and often into the summer months. 

“We’ll never do that to the people of this state,” Hochul said. “My expectation is we’ll be on time. We’re very close to that time, and I don’t have much intention going beyond that.”

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