A quick scan of the Paterson budget

paterson budget 2010-2011

David Paterson at today's budget presentation.

Updated at 1:44 pm

The Paterson administration officially released its proposed 2010-2011 state budget today. David Paterson called the state's financial picture "lugubrious" and said his proposal was "a budget of necessity." He also criticized past budgets: "We can no longer afford this spending addiction."

A (relatively) quick scan of the proposed budget is after the jump. It includes items about a soda tax, wine in supermarkets, speed cameras, The Egg and ultimate fighting.

This is just a skim of the budget. It omits many details. See the state Division of Budget documents for more details.

Also: the legislature still has to pass the budget, so it will almost certainly go through extensive changes. Think of this as David Paterson's opening offer.

The total

+ The Paterson administration's proposed budget totals almost $134 billion. That's an increase of .5 percent from the previous year.

+ Last year's budget represented a 9.5 percent increase (an earlier AOA chart about the growth of the state budget vs. inflation).

The gap

+ The budget office projects that the state is facing a $7.4 billion budget gap next year.

+ Among the ways he budget aims to close the gap: cuts to state agencies ($1 billion), school aid ($1.1 billion), health care savings and fees ($1.9 billion).

Spending cap

+ David Paterson says he'll push to cap increases in the state operating funds budget to at average rate of inflation from the three prior calendar years. For this year, that would be 2 percent. The 2010-2011 Paterson budget for this type of spending includes an increase of .9 percent.

+ The Paterson administration figures that cuts required by this proposed cap would lead to a $1 billion surplus in 2011-2012.

+ The cap would also include a "circuit breaker" that could lead to tax credits for some people.

Higher ed

The budget includes a provision that would allow individual the SUNY and CUNY boards to set their own tuition rates (increases would be limited by an inflate formula). The two systems would also be allowed to set different rates for different campuses.

The administration says these changes will lead to smoother and more predictable increases in tuition at the state's colleges and universities.

School aid

The budget includes a cut in local aid of five percent -- that's $1.1 billion. The administration points out that the cut represents two percent of overall district spending in the state -- and even with the cut, the funding level will still have increased faster than inflation since 2003.

Health care

+ The administration is hoping for savings in reduced health care costs ($1 billion) and increased savings from better Medicaid fraud detection ($300 million).

+ The budget also includes $240 million in increased assessments and surcharges on health care providers.

Unfunded mandates

The budget package includes a proposal that would place "a four-year moratorium on all significant unfunded statutory mandates affecting local governments." In other words, it would prohibit the state legislature from passing a law that requires local governments to do something -- but doesn't provide the money to cover the costs.

Agency cuts

+ The budget includes a proposal for a $500 million across-the-board cut at state agencies.
+ The budget also includes another year of no pay raises for non-union management/confidential state workers.

Taxes on cigarettes and soda

+ The budget increases state taxes on a pack of cigarettes by $1, to $3.75. The administration is estimating this increase will decrease smoking by 14 percent in the state. The budget expects to generate $200 million from this tax increase in 2010-2011 (or $218 million as it says on pdf page 103).

+ The budget would institute a tax on sugared soda equal to $1.28/gallon of bottle soft drink. That's 12 cents on a can of soda and about 34 68 cents on a two-liter. The tax would apply to sugar-sweetened beverages that have more than ten calories per eight ounces, so that would include sports drinks and bottled coffee drinks (No tax on Starbucks?). The budget expects to generate $450 million from this tax in 2010-2011 (or $465 million, as it says on pdf page page 103).

(From briefing book pdf page 24)

+ David Paterson says the revenue from these taxes will be used to offset other health care cuts.

Wine in supermarkets

The budget includes a provision that would open the way for supermarkets to sell wine. The budget expects to generate $92 million from the fees associated with license for these sales.

Photo radar for speeding

The budget includes a provision that would deploy "automated cameras to identify vehicles speeding in designated highway work zones and dangerous stretches of highway." Fines would be $50 for highway speeding and $100 for workzone speeding. The budget projects $25 million in net revenue from these tickets.

Legalize MMA

There's a provision that would lift the state ban on ultimate fighting. The budget projects $2.1 million in revenue from lifting the ban.

The Egg and NYSTI

+ The budget cuts the state's subsidy to The Egg, which makes up about 15 percent of its budget.

+ The budget also eliminates the state's subsidy to the New York State Theater Institute in Troy. That subsidy is about 85 percent of its budget.

(From the "agency presentations" document -- page 10)

screen grab: ny.gov


Lack of a serial comma and a quick scan of your post had me thinking there was going going to be Ultimate Fighting in the Hart Theater. Which would be awesome.

@Jackers: Hey, you never know... ; )

No proposed tax on out of state canoodling activities?

What is with these savings from Medicaid fraud detection? It seems that every time we have a new budget / deficit-closing plan some $XXX millions will be recovered from Medicaid fraud. Why not just stamp out all the fraud in one swoop?

ATTENTION HATERS: once it's legalized, you and me! In the cage! Of course, with regulation, certain critera have to be met including but not limited to matching weight. I'm willing to compete at either Featherweight (145) or Lightweight (155). I walk around at 150-155 pounds. I have no formal training, but I used to watch "Walker: Texas Ranger" religiously. So watch out, because "The Bad Boy from Troy" Kevin Marshall is gunning for YOU!

In all seriousness, that $2.1 million is a very conservative estimate.

I'm curious if there's any hard studies that show a raise in prices definitively and singularly curb smoking habits. Personally, it's been my observation (and life experience) that raising the price of an addictive substance just makes an addict poorer. I only quit because of a desire to get healthy, and as much griping as I've heard from smokers (and I know/am related to a LOT), I've not once seen one quit for it.

@Kevin: That revenue figure does seem low considering the attention the issue has gotten as a potential funding source. We're looking around to confirm that number.

@Greg: If I had to take a guess, they're probably basing that figure on one major MSG event and maybe one or two other arena events. They're probably not taking into account all of the localized promotions (especially downstate) that would pop up; which also bring in revenue in licensing fees, insurance fees, taxes etcetera.

Because trust me, if Dana White and the UFC can get into New York, MSG (due to location and historical significance) is going to be as regular a stop for them and other promotions as Las Vegas.

@Bob: It's partially due to the State working to combine all the separate fiefdoms who have been doing the 'Medicaid Fraud patrol' (i.e. Attorney General, DOH, etc) into one large monstrosity called the Medicaid Inspector General. It is a slow moving behemoth, but once it gets rolling it will be very hard to be stopped...for better or worse.

How about layoffs!! I want to see some of those

AOA is essentially a journalistic enterprise, and therefore I think it would be appropriate to follow certain accepted journalistic standards. For one, referring to the Governor using his title (at least on first reference), not as simply "David Paterson".

Soda companies are good corporate citizens. They employ people in various communities and give to those communities in times of need. One of the first companies to respond to the tragedy in Haiti was Coca-Cola with a donation of $1 million dollars to the Red Cross. On the ground, Coca-Cola is getting four thousands cases of water through to Haiti each day. Keep going Coke -- Please keep helping!

Governor Paterson should back off the soda. It is not the source of the obesity problem. Inferior physical and nutritional education, which of course leads to poor exercise habits and ill-advised diets, are the cause of inflated waistlines. Having a salad with a Coke is far better then a bottle of water to wash down a face full of dirty water dogs. Add walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator and you’re golden.

Is this the death knell for NYSTI?

Speed cameras, my lord....

I always suspected that they are used to collect revenue rather than improve safety. Now I know for sure.

Who's the shill for Coca-Cola?

And which country did Coke rip off the water rights to in order to "donate" all that water to Haitians?

Regardless of what I might think of Paterson's proposed tax, it's patently absurd to pretend that good nutrition education would endorse "salad & a Coke"

Of course, it is impossible on the internet to point out the good works of someone without being paid for it? Sorry to disappoint, but I don't work for Coca-Cola.

I like Coke as a product and a company. Coca-Cola was the first major American company to be head by a minority, a Hispanic. Next time you admire a Norman Rockwell painting or have your child sitting on Santa's lap, thank Coke. The Cold War thankfully was not won with tanks, guns and nukes, but with a cheeseburger and a Coca-Cola.

My posting was concerning Governor Paterson’s proposed soda tax and the absurd justification behind it. I dislike when my tax dollars are use in the name of bad science. Soda has been around since 1265.

See... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_drink#History

The obesity problem has been what the last 2 or 3 decades. Do the math. Consumption isn't the issue, the lack of physical activity is. It doesn't what you eat, celery and vitamin pill or a chicken wing with gravy. If you don't get off the couch, you will suffer from bad health.

It offends me that some politician is planning to tax my freedom of choice in the name of a problem he will do nothing to solve. The evaluation of Governor Paterson’s soda tax really comes down to one question. How much of those soda tax dollars will fund physical exercise programs vs. pet projects to keep the politicians in office?

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