Gov. Andrew Cuomo estimated Thursday that the state could have a revenue shortfall of as much as $15 billion as a result of the economic shutdown, at least twice as much as initially projected.
Cuomo addressed the looming fiscal crunch during his daily briefing as the legislature looks to complete the state’s 2020-21 budget by Tuesday. He said that the latest assessment has the revenue shortfall to be between $10 billion and $15 billion. A week earlier state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli estimated that revenue would be down between $4 billion and $7 billion.
The governor once again took aim at the $2 trillion stimulus package passed late Wednesday night in the U.S. Senate and is expected to be approved Friday in the House, saying Congress only considered New York State’s and New York City’s coronavirus-related expenses, but not the revenue shortfalls.
The state is scheduled to receive $5 billion from the package.
“I was shocked that they were so irresponsible in considering the state’s and the city’s need,” Cuomo said. “They just did not address the revenue shortfall. They provided money for COVID, the amount of money we’re spending on the virus, but they just did nothing on the revenue loss.”
Cuomo expected that more complicated policy issues are almost certainly to be postponed rather than included in the final budget, particularly with the legislature doing a lot of its work by conference calls to maintain social distancing.
After the governor’s briefing, state Sen. Peter Harckham (D-Lewisboro) said until the state government has a better idea of how long the businesses closures will be in effect accurate budget assumptions will be difficult to ascertain.
“We may have to make adjustments as we go through the year,” Harckham said