Final Budget Deal Does Not Add to Cuomo’s Transit Raid [Updated]

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders announced their budget agreement last Sunday. The deal does not change the amount of transit funding included in Cuomo's budget. Photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/5566270228/in/set-72157626242631805/##Governor's Office via Flickr##

The final budget agreement reached by Albany leadership will not make additional cuts to transit funding, a state budget division spokesperson confirmed this afternoon. Negotiations with the legislature did not ultimately change the total amount of transit funding from Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget, which raided $100 million from dedicated transit funds.

During budget negotiations, it was possible that the MTA would lose another $170 million. The Senate wanted to provide a $70 million exemption from the payroll mobility tax for school districts while the Assembly was opposed to Cuomo’s plan to use $100 million in their discretionary funds for transit. There were also high-level discussions about somehow responding to the massive Long Island Bus cuts. As promised by Assembly Member Jim Brennan’s office, however, the MTA did not lose any more money in budget negotiations. We are still waiting for confirmation that the structure of transit funding, in addition to the top-line number, remains the same as in the executive budget.

Update: We originally reported that the budget included a requirement that the MTA hire an accounting firm to conduct a forensic audit of the authority. The forensic audit was included in a Senate-only version of the budget bill, however. The final version of the budget, as presented to Governor Cuomo, does not include the requirement for a forensic audit.

  • Komanoff

    Shouldn’t the photo caption read, “Gov. Cuomo and male legislative leaders …”

    Just kidding.

  • Larry Littlefield

    So who is supervising the forensic audit? Is the purpose to prove that the legislature is innocent?

    People who do this kind of work tend to know who is paying them. If the audit doesn’t show massive funding shortfalls from 1995 to the present balanced by borrowing, and doesn’t analyze the impact of the various retroactive pension deals, it is a fraud.

  • Larry Littlefield

    And by the way, they should add a forensic audit of the Thruway Authority and the “Transportation Trust Fund.” Guess what an honest one would find there, too.

  • Larry Littlefield

    While they are at in, they might want to ponder how the unemployment insurance trust fund ended up insolvent again, given that this recession was so much milder than the early 1990s recession in New York.

    In Michigan, they just cut UI benefits from 26 weeks to 20 weeks because their UI plan is broke, but that state has been in the equivalent of the Great Depression. Ours is broke too.

  • Curious Bystander

    New York State’s budget is in more need of an audit than the MTA is. How can the state be consistently losing money when it’s home to one of the greatest financial centers in the world?

  • Anonymous

    I signed in with Disqus for the first time, just so that I could “like” Curious Bystander’s comment about the State budget!

  • Larry Littlefield

    Let’s just say it’s the age distribution that stands out to me.

    Which would have been appropriate back in the days when age meant wisdom, and people sought to built a positive legacy so they would be well remembered.

    Aside from — maybe and we’ll see in a decade — the guy who just got there, I sincerely hope no one will try to name a bridge after anyone in that room, or anyone who has been in that room for the past 20 years.

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