New York State

Cuomo fails to get state aid in meeting with Trump

New York will likely face tough budget choices without federal aid.

Governor Cuomo on April 20th during the daily COVID-19 press briefing.

Governor Cuomo on April 20th during the daily COVID-19 press briefing. Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

A fourth federal stimulus bill is on track to get through Congress by Thursday without the billions in new aid that could help New York avoid an increasingly bleak fiscal future.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo appears to have left a Tuesday meeting at the White House empty-handed after calling for billions in unrestricted federal funding. “The president says he’s going to work very hard in the next piece of legislation,” the governor told reporters Wednesday. While that money could help the state in the long term, it may not prevent the governor from being forced to make some tough choices in the near term.

The governor has already said that 20% cuts to hospitals, public education and local governments could happen in the absence of additional federal aid – and the first official sign of those cuts could be realized in an updated spending plan expected to be released this month. While some short-term borrowing appears to be on the table, spending cuts appear to be the governor’s preferred approach to address the looming fiscal crisis.

The state will also now have to wait until July to receive as much as $10 billion in tax revenues because the state has pushed back the tax filing deadline, according to a new report from the state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office.

“The ultimate price of the coronavirus remains undetermined,” he said. “Tax revenues will be substantially lower in the near term because of the pandemic, and likely well beyond.”

The new state budget allows the governor to make spending cuts on a rolling basis if tax revenues do not meet prior projections. While state lawmakers – some of whom want to raise taxes on the wealthy – could overrule the governor, especially if they meet remotely during the crisis, that would involve them overcoming significant logistical and political obstacles with the June primaries and November elections looming.