New York state should commit more money to its rainy day fund as it emerges from the pandemic with healthier-than-expected financial resources due to federal aid and a boost in tax revenue, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Thursday announced.

DiNapoli's office released a report on the state's fiscal picture, which has brightened significantly since a year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic largely froze economic activity in the state.

Budget gaps that were expected to be a combined $38.7 billion over four years have now been reduced to $3.4 billion. But DiNapoli is looking toward the next crisis, and urging state officials to, in essence, save more for the next crisis.

The advice comes after state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo in April approved a record $212 billion state budget that funds direct aid for education at record levels and raised taxes on upper income earners, who already had paid into much of the state's personal income tax.

“The state’s economic and fiscal outlook have improved,” DiNapoli said. “Local sales tax collections are up significantly, and our May Cash Report shows the state is $4 billion ahead of projections. It is essential that additional resources are used for critical infrastructure projects to reduce debt issued and to bolster reserve funds beyond planned levels to help us to weather the next crisis or recession.”

DiNapoli pointed to the state's rainy day reserves standing at $3.3 billion, below the statutorily authorized $6.4 billion. At the same time, DiNapoli urged the state to "prudently" use federal aid after New York was authorized to receive $12 billion in direct funding from Congress, though that money is a one-shot and non-recurring next year.

And DiNapoli warned New York should commit to wiser debt policies after making new issuances that were excluded from a 21-year-old debt reform law on the books.