Speaking at a recent meeting of the Long Island Regional Planning Council, held at Hofstra University, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli highlighted the 2018 State budget impacts on Long Island. New initiatives included funds for clean water infrastructure projects, more money set aside for school aid at $1.1 billion, and an executive proposal to have counties convene shared services.
As reported by Newsday, DiNapoli said that local governments could face daunting infrastructure needs that could cost billions of dollars in the coming years. Over the next two decades, for example, about $40 billion may be needed for repairs and improvements to drinking-water systems, DiNapoli said, alluding to a report issued by his office.
DiNapoli said there is reason for optimism, with robust private-sector job growth on the Island, a strong stock market and one of the healthiest state pension funds in the nation. But, he reminded the Council, few economists predicted the global financial crisis that began a decade ago. Said DiNapoli: “The reality is, we don’t really know where the economy is headed. How sustainable is this recovery that we have? How much longer will it go? We can do our best guesses, but I’ve always said, we just need to be a little more conservative in our expectations.”
Repeal of the Affordable Care Act and large cuts to Medicaid have the potential to result in the state having to reduce state funding for local projects and schools to make up for losses in federal money. The Comptroller’s office has come up with an early warning system on fiscal stress for municipalities.