We received a state budget update from NYSUT yesterday. We are sharing it here for your information:
The 2020-2021 enacted budget included language (Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2020) allowing the New York State Division of Budget to adjust or reduce cash disbursements by any amount necessary to maintain a balanced budget. On Thursday, an updated State Budget Financial Plan was released and projects a $14.5 billion budget shortfall. Due to the shortfall in revenue and projected revenue, the New York State Division of Budget determined that the budget was unbalanced and took measures to reduce spending, which included a state public employee hiring freeze, no new state contracts or state employee pay raises, and temporarily holds back 20% of state payments. As of July 31, 2020, the total of items withheld was $1.9 billion. In the absence of federal aid, the New York State Division of Budget will continue to withhold funds during the fiscal year in order to balance the budget. School districts have been notified of this action and that any funding tied to a statutory due date will be reduced by at least 20 percent. Districts were also advised that the New York State Division of Budget may withhold payments entirely for items with no statutory due date.
NYSUT continues to work at the federal and state level to secure funding to deal with the budget shortfall. On the federal level, we are working with AFT and NEA to seek passage of another stimulus package to provide assistance to education, higher education as well as state and local governments. In New York, we are working closely with labor unions and state legislators to pass revenue raisers (billionaire’s wealth tax, ultra-millionaires, pied-à-terre tax) as well as urging the state to tap into settlement funds, rainy day accounts and other unused portions of money to address the budget shortfall.