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Cuomo: Report predicts $61B deficit over 4 years


Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget office is due to release an updated financial report, and the numbers are grim.

Cuomo said the pandemic and the resulting “economic tsunami” caused by stay at home orders has meant a 14% drop in state revenues  to $13.3 billion, which is projected to total $61 billion over the next four years.

“And what you are going to see is what we expected,” Cuomo said.

The governor said federal aid for the states will be necessary to close the gap, and he again called out U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who suggested that states with budget deficits due to the coronavirus should declare bankruptcy. Cuomo said it’s actually illegal for states to declare bankruptcy, so he says Congress would have to pass a law to allow it.

“Pass the law, I dare you, and then go to the President and say, 'Sign this bill,’ ” Cuomo said. “You want to send a signal to the markets that this nation is in real trouble? You want to send an international message that the economy is in turmoil? Do that.”

The governor has said he might have to cut funding to schools, hospitals and local governments by 20%, but he said Friday that no decision has been made.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.