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Lawmakers size up $6.1B budget shortfall, and how to make it up

New York State is facing a $6.1 billion budget gap next year, and lawmakers now have a difficult choice: either raise taxes and revenue or cut spending to pay for it.

The state medicaid shortfall is an issue New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins calls “extremely concerning.”

“It’s serious, and it seems to be growing, so we need to really look at how we can manage this without really jeopardizing, obviously, the health but all the other things that New Yorkers are used to having,” she said.

In looking at what the state could do to get back on balance, she says the solutions would have to be things that kick in sooner rather than later even if the state was to legalize and tax marijuana next session.

“Even with marijuana, that revenue is not an instant revenue, so we have an immediate problem,” Stewart-Cousins said. “Just to be clear, we are obviously concerned it is critical. Our first fall back thing isn’t ‘let’s raise taxes.’”

Meanwhile, New York GOP Chair Nick Langworthy says the state has “ridiculously generous medicaid benefits.”

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