New CT budget has an unprecedented built-in surplus of $2.3 billion

Excerpt:

Question: When was the last time a Connecticut legislature was poised to adopt a state budget with a $2.3 billion surplus built into it?

Answer: Never, until now.

Democrats and Republicans alike were expected to vote for the $46.4 billion, two-year package when it goes before the House of Representatives on Tuesday. But even though about 5% of the funds appears to be left unspent, the anticipated surplus would become a payment into the state’s pension accounts.

That’s because the budget, which boosts spending 2.6% in the fiscal year beginning July 1 and by 3.9% in 2022-23, really is the first of its kind under a new system designed to bring stability to state finances.

Connecticut is four years into a savings program that limits spending of income tax receipts tied to capital gains and other investment earnings, but this is the first time since 2017 that analysts are projecting big revenues from Wall Street before legislators actually approve a budget.

Author(s): Keith Phaneuf

Publication Date: 8 June 2021

Publication Site: CT Mirror

Illinois Budget Leaves Billions in Federal Rescue Funds on the Table

Link: https://www.centerforilpolitics.org/articles/illinois-budget-leaves-billions-in-federal-rescue-funds-on-the-table#new_tab

Excerpt:

The federal government will soon give the cash-strapped state of Illinois $8.1 billion to cope with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, but next year state officials plan to use less than a third of the windfall.

That means that some $5.5 billion in unspent federal cash will remain in state accounts until lawmakers figure out how they want to use it. The state treasurer’s office will invest the money, along with the $38 billion it is already responsible for investing. 

Ironically, Illinois is supposed to get its money faster than many other states because of its urgent need. Most states will get their money from the American Rescue Plan Act in two payments, a year apart. But Illinois is expected to get its full share all at once in the coming months, because it has a high unemployment rate. 

The fact that Illinois is letting so much money sit in the bank, even when it has a long list of pressing financial needs, has a lot to do with the rules the federal government wrote for how states can use the Rescue Act money. 

Author(s): Daniel C. Vock

Publication Date: 6 June 2021

Publication Site: Center for Illinois Politics

Schumer spokesman: Federal pandemic relief eliminates NYS deficit

Link: https://nypost.com/2021/03/08/schumer-federal-pandemic-relief-eliminates-nys-deficit/

Excerpt:

The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package passed by the US Senate wipes out New York State’s projected budget deficit — possibly negating the need for hefty tax hikes or spending cuts, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office said Monday.

“Ok. Thanks to @SenSchumer NYS budget deficit for this year is…..Zero, nada, niete, zilch (NY terms),” Schumer spokesman Angelo Roefaro tweeted.

The American Rescue Plan provides state government coffers with $12.6 billion in unrestricted aid, a measure championed by Schumer, the New York senior senator. The measure passed the Senate in a 50-49 vote and is expected to clear the Democratic-led House of Representatives on Tuesday and delivered to President Biden for approval.

Author(s): Carl Campanile, Bernadette Hogan

Publication Date: 8 March 2021

Publication Site: NY Post

Schumer spokesman: Federal pandemic relief eliminates NYS deficit

Link: https://nypost.com/2021/03/08/schumer-federal-pandemic-relief-eliminates-nys-deficit/

Excerpt:

The American Rescue Plan provides state government coffers with $12.6 billion in unrestricted aid, a measure championed by Schumer, the New York senior senator. The measure passed the Senate in a 50-49 vote and is expected to clear the Democratic-led House of Representatives on Tuesday and delivered to President Biden for approval.

Asked if the geyser of pandemic relief eliminates the needs for tax hikes or spending cuts, Roefaro told The Post, “the statement speaks for itself.”

Roefaro continued, “How NY decides its budgetary policy is a matter for the state legislature and the administration. Our job was to deliver resources to help NY confront and overcome Covid and it’s impacts, including the fiscal impact. And we did that fully and completely.”

Author(s): Carl Campanile, Bernadette Hogan

Publication Date: 8 March 2021

Publication Site: NY Post

State budget shaping up as embarrassment of riches—for now

Excerpt:

Governor Cuomo’s Division of the Budget (DOB) and the Legislature’s fiscal committees have agreed to boost New York State’s revenue projection for fiscal years 2021 and 2022 by $2.45 billion—the latest in a series of upward adjustments that have dramatically improved Albany’s short-term outlook, even as sexual harassment allegations against the governor will complicate negotiations towards a new budget for the fiscal year beginning April 1.

The Consensus Revenue and Economic Forecast issued late last night by DOB splits the difference between the governor’s budget agency, which wasn’t budging from its already improved 30-day amended financial plan outlook, and a very optimistic projection from the Assembly Ways and Means Committee staff, which forecast $5 billion more in revenue through FY 2022. The Senate Finance Committee staff estimate came in a total $3.4 billion higher than the governor’s latest number.

Author(s): E.J. McMahon

Publication Date: 2 March 2021

Publication Site: Empire Center for Public Policy