While the state has made progress in balancing its budget for the long term, but the current spending plan leaves projected gaps of $3.4 billion and $4.1 billion in out-years, according to a new report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
DiNapoli’s analysis of the 2012-13 enacted budget, which took effect April 1, said the state is in “a new era of state and local fiscal policy” by making “significant” changes in its three largest spending categories — Medicaid, a health-care program for the poor and disabled; school aid; and state agency operations — and implementing a property-tax cap.
The report said state officials will have to make difficult policy choices in enacting additional budget cuts or revenue increases to cut the structural imbalance. Due to poor use of debt in the past decade, the much of the state’s statutory debt capacity has bee depleted. That creates challenges for funding future programs and capital projects, the analysis found.
The report also looks at the the state’s financial plan, spending on specific programs, economic outlook and tax revenues.