Reports of fiscal problems over the next few years emerged as an aside in the adoption of this year’s (2018-19) budget despite knowledge of tax revenue projections that will prove insufficient to cover the expected gaps. ($4-5 b. next year.) True for two reasons: NY’s addiction to fiscal gimmickry and uncertain revenue from swings in the business cycle. The gimmicks have been described before, such as “one shots,” income streams that occur once, unreliable estimates of revenue from conversion of non-profit health care companies to profits making, and deceptive classification of expenditures that show less spending than is likely.
At a recent meeting of business groups it was made clear that a republican senate fought off assembly proposals to raise taxes by significant amounts presumably to replace revenues diverted by federal tax reform. Such tendencies to tax and spend bode ill for New Yorkers if the senate control is lost to democrats whose plunder of the taxpayer seems unlimited.
It will be slow in Albany next week, as both parties hold their state conventions, the dems on May 23-24 in Hempstead where they will tee-up republican congressional reps from NY: Stefanik, Faso, Reed, Collins, Katko, Zeldin and Tenney for their alleged transgressions some of whom voted to raise taxes on middle income folks, or kicked many souls, (850,000) including children from health care, etc. Is there no end to the depredations republicans will visit upon the defenseless? The details are buried in the tax reform bill including abandonment of the individual mandate just in time to avoid exposure to triple premiums.
The effort to unseat these congressional reps is a national effort by the democrats to target seats in heavily democratic NY.
The republicans will convene in Manhattan May 22-24 with additional regional events featuring individual legislators. The party will “Continue to Stay Strong: Making American Great Again.” The party is focused on Governor Cuomo whose life is being made difficult enough at the hands of his own party plus attacks from the progressive wing in the person of Cynthia Nixon an actress cum gubernatorial candidate who has embraced the ethically challenged Mayor of NYC, who hates Mr. Cuomo, who hates Mr. de Blasio. Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, who served in the assembly, is expected to become the republican candidate for governor, a steep climb since the democrats enjoy a 2 to 1 enrollment edge.
Perhaps just as important is the fate of the republican hold on the senate, now standing at 32 to 32 plus Simca Felder a democrat/conservative from Brooklyn who caucuses with the republicans. Senator Felder represents a very conservative area in Brooklyn and has resisted an effort by Mr. Cuomo to pry him loose and join the democrats. An interesting illustration of the view that culture and religion continue play a strong and persistent role in politics.
One bill of interest is S4135 – Savino/A4142 – Englebright – to indemnify first responders, including private parties, whose services are offered or requested during emergencies. The NY Propane Gas Association went on record in support last year provided private parties were added to the list of potential responders. The bill was reported to the senate floor where it will be eligible for consideration when the house next convenes. Last year it passed the senate with our amendments but died in the assembly.