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Our new governor’s budget-balancing act

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In her first address in office, Gov. Hochul correctly prioritized getting New York State to operate both well and transparently. Accomplishing this requires rectifying twin management failures — the operational management failure we see in rental assistance funds not getting disbursed quickly, and the fiscal management failure whose root cause is lack of transparency that keeps New Yorkers in the dark as to how and how much of their money is being spent.

Fortunately, these problems can be fixed with leadership, government-wide performance management and accountability, and specific fiscal management changes.

The state does not now have a cash-availability problem. It’s flush. With strong tax receipts, unprecedented federal aid and tax increases (which were unnecessary), this year’s $212 billion budget included renter and homeowner relief programs ($3.3 billion), the Excluded Workers Fund ($2.1 billion), small business recovery grants ($800 million), and an unprecedented increase in school aid ($13 billion for the school year).

Despite coffers virtually overflowing, the question remains: Will this money get to those who need it and will it actually help? “Fiscal ribbon cutting” — budgeting money and declaring victory — does not alone deliver results and relief. That relies also on designing and managing the programs........

© NY Daily News

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