New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he can’t promise to carry his new budget’s 2 percent limit on spending into next year, when he likely will begin gearing up for a re-election campaign that might benefit from a bit of largess.
The spending cap issue arises partly because Cuomo, a Democrat now 15 months into his first term, is considered a 2016 presidential contender. This intensifies scrutiny of his policies and ability to manage New York’s government, long regarded as one of the nation’s most dysfunctional.
Further, the last New York governor to serve a full term, let alone win two more, is former Republican Governor George Pataki. After enacting fiscally restrained budgets in his first two years, the Republican dismayed conservatives by raising spending at more than double the inflation rate in successive budgets.
Asked if he would follow in the footsteps of Pataki or stick to a 2 percent cap next year, Cuomo said: “Obviously, we would like to but I don’t want to make a commitment for a future budget.” Pataki defeated a bid for a fourth term by Mario Cuomo, the father of the current governor.
The governor was speaking in Albany at a web cast news conference with legislative leaders, where they announced that voting on the new $132.6 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts on April 1 would finish on Friday. Last year, Cuomo got legislators to enact the state’s first on time budget in five years. This year’s accord marks the first time in decades that the budget deadline has been met two years in a row.