New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the state's congressional delegation on Friday to prevent the so-called super committee from dealing a major blow to the economy of the state with spending cuts.
Proposals from the super committee -- a bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives tasked with drafting a plan to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit -- could contain cuts to state Medicaid reimbursements, transportation funding, and education funding, among other programs, that would widen New York's budget gap, Cuomo said in a letter.
Proposals may also contain elimination of deductions on state and local taxes and home mortgage interest payments.
Cuts to critical programs should be made in a manner that does not undo the progress we have made at the state level or further erode the chances of a strong economic recovery, Cuomo, a Democrat, wrote to the 31 members of New York's delegation. I believe certain proposals reportedly being considered by the committee have the strong possibility of doing both.
Even if the super committee fails to reach a deficit-reduction plan by its Wednesday deadline or Congress fails to pass the proposal, automatic cuts across the board in defense and discretionary spending will be triggered.
New York is headed for a tough fiscal environment. Estimates of he state's budget deficit for the 2013 fiscal year range from $3 billion to $3.5 billion, the state budget director said this week. In the current fiscal year, New York has a $350 million shortfall.
Cuomo's letter explains that New York receives $40 billion in federal funding each year, which accounts for 30 percent of the state's budget. The Medicaid program makes up a large chunk of federal aid at $25 billion a year.
While avoiding specifics, his letter urged New York's elected officials in Washington to fight for the state's interests.
The burden of cuts or reductions in tax deductions must be shared evenly by all states, Cuomo wrote, and, as New York's representatives in Congress, I urge you to work to minimize the potential damage to New York.