Saturday, January 29, 2011

DaNews from DiNapoli

Am I the only one who thinks it is a little sad that Comptroller Tom DiNapoli essentially puts out his own newsletter? It's sort of like how Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb has a weekly address, except DiNapoli always seems to be touting a minor accomplishment or warning of impending economic doom. At least Kolb keeps it simple with his party's talking points.
One of the interesting highlights is the revelation that state tax collections still lag behind payouts for certain programs, which has resulted in a reliance on delayed payouts for programs like STAR.
On a different note, it appears that the state paid nearly $239,000 for health insurance benefits for deceased or ineligible retirees. ABout half that money has since been recovered.
And finally, if you're not sitting down you might want to, because DiNapoli is now releasing Weekly State General Fund Cash Watch Numbers!!!
“Taxpayers should know what’s going on with the state’s finances,” DiNapoli said. “Every week we’ll post the cash watch on the State Comptroller’s website.”
He said that people are focused on next year's budget gap, but are ignoring the challenges in the present fiscal year, which ends on March 31. "In the next three months, the state is facing a General Fund budget gap of well more than $1 billion. If no action is taken, the General Fund cash situation could become very precarious and next year’s budget gap could reach $11 billion. We have to monitor this situation very carefully," said DiNapoli.
For Week Ended January 7, 2011*
General Fund Balance on 1/1/11:
$3.142 billion
Receipts & Transfers from Other Funds:
$25.93 million**
Disbursements & Transfer to Other Funds:
($1.18 billion)
General Fund Cash Balance 1/7/11:
$1.986 billion

The State Comptroller’s office processes approximately 232,000 state payments daily. In State Fiscal Year 2009-10, it processed more than 76 million payments totaling approximately $107 billion.

*This information is a summary of weekly activity recorded in the state’s accounting system and does not include post-closing adjustments, which will be reflected in the Comptroller’s monthly Cash Report.

**General Fund receipts are reduced by $2.4 billion to reflect the deposit of personal income tax receipts into the State Special Revenue Fund to finance School Tax Relief Fund (STAR) payments to schools that were made on Jan. 3, 2011, which were delayed from December.

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