New York saw major political shake-ups last year under its fully Democratic state Legislature, with some noteworthy legislative wins for nonprofits, from the Child Victims Act to legalizing driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. But any initiatives taken up during this year’s state legislative session – which is starting Wednesday – will face a big roadblock: a $6.1 billion budget gap that is mostly caused by Medicaid spending.
The massive shortfall leaves the state with two options: raise more revenue or cut back state spending (or both). Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has already indicated a preference for the former, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently argued that “a one-shot cash revenue is not the answer.” Given Cuomo’s power over the budget process, cuts are likely coming – and nonprofits are crossing their fingers and hoping that their social services programs won’t take the hit.
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