Noting that every interest group comes to
Cuomo did not sidestep the fiscal challenges in his budget address Tuesday. The budget item producing the most red ink is the Medicaid health insurance program. The governor laid out a framework for taming the budgetary beast, though it had few details.
First, he will convene a new "redesign team," comprising industry stakeholders, which is assigned the task of finding
As for counties worried about Medicaid cost increases being shifted back to them, Cuomo is proposing a compromise. The state will continue picking up the tab for counties' Medicaid costs as long as they do not increase by more than 3% in a year. If the yearly increase is below 3%, the state will still pay 3% and the counties keep the savings. For above 3%, the counties would pay the difference.
Cuomo says it gives counties "skin in the game" to help control costs and "holds local governments harmless."
Giving localities incentives to look for cost savings is fair enough on its face. Still, we're not sure counties found it harmless when the state drove up their Medicaid costs by increasing the minimum wage for health workers.
The largest single item in the annual budget is school aid. Cuomo is proposing an
As noted in this space before,
Legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana use fell apart at the end of the 2019 session in
We applauded the decriminalizing of pot possession, but have stated before that marijuana use is not something to be taken lightly. However, as more and more states open the door, legalization seems inevitable.
His plan calls for a tax on cultivating cannabis, another on retail sales, with an extra 2% tax collected in
The governor's overall plan to trim the deficit includes counting on
A lot is to be worked out between now and
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