New York State Budget Process Begins with Passage of the Debt Service Budget Bill

A Statement by Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) on the debt service budget bill, A.8802, voted on today in the Assembly Chamber.

Today, the Assembly took up the first of its ten budget bills, the debt service bill, which is necessary to make legally required payments related to the sale and servicing of debt by the state as well as contractual debt agreements with public authorities and agencies.

Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) expressed great concern with the State Budget process, stating, “I’m glad to see we’re taking up our first budget bill ahead of the deadline, and during daylight hours no less, but Gov. Hochul has already started her game of cat and mouse with an emergency extender setting a new deadline for April 4th. As we move through this process, transparent negotiations are critical in keeping the best interests of all New Yorkers on the table.”

“We knew the budget would not be on time this year, this is a trend we have become accustomed to. The flawed budget process has had real and tangible effects on our state, and we only have to talk to struggling business owners and people leaving the state for more affordable and safer communities to realize this.”

This debt service bill passed today provides a $3 billion payment towards the State’s outstanding debt, which is estimated to total $64.4 billion in FY25. While accumulating debt is concerning, it becomes even more alarming if spending remains unchecked. The Comptroller has projected that debt service is going to consume an increasing share of state spending over the next five years, leaving fewer cash resources available for other spending needs. Debt service payments are projected to reach approximately $9 billion by FY29, roughly the same amount the State spends on the Environment, Parks, Economic Development and Local Government Assistance combined. 

“As many good government groups have pointed out, without a State financial plan and without knowing when we will see the remaining budget bills, it’s like driving a car without knowing how much gas you have left or where you’re headed. We need a clear plan to manage our finances responsibly for the residents of New York whose interests we are elected to represent. We need a timely, efficient budget, one that doesn’t leave our school districts, local governments and vital nonprofit organizations in uncertainty, anxiously awaiting to learn whether the State will allocate them the necessary funding to sustain their operations and serve their communities effectively.”