New York's budget picture has brightened considerably since the COVID-19 pandemic froze the state's economy and led to deep uncertainty over the state's financial future.
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday that New York's revenue is expected to be $2.1 billion higher in each of the next four years, and budget gaps for the 2024-2025 fiscal year will be reduced by nearly $2 billion.
Meanwhile, New York is transferring $1.1 billion to its reserve fund, and is paying down borrowing for capital projects by $650 million.
"While the state's fiscal picture is strong, which is an incredible reversal from where we were a year ago, we must act with caution as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread, threatening our economic recovery," Hochul said. "For this reason, I am bolstering state reserves to protect against economic downturn and new costs while creating capacity for the state to meet future infrastructure needs, all critical to protecting New Yorkers and our economy from the ravages of the pandemic and moving New York forward."
The recovery in part is thanks to an infusion a federal aid as part of a stimulus package approved by Congress for states who have lost tax revenue due to placing pandemic-related restrictions on public gatherings and businesses. Those restrictions in New York lifted earlier this year, though mask wearing and vaccine requirements for some public events are in place.