Will Governor Andrew Cuomo's first new budget be adopted on time by April 1, 2011?
Will it include specific cuts agency by agency and program by program to meet a $10 billion dollar- plus and growing deficit. How will he deal with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's $9 billion dollar shortfall in its current Capital Program?
How will he balance pressures to maintain or even increase school aid to New York City, Long Island and other suburban counties along with upstate school districts while at the same time placing a cap on property taxes?.
New York businesses and individuals combined owe over $13 billion dollars in uncollected state taxes according past reports released by the New York State Tax Department. Will he support a more aggressive approach in attempting to collect some of these revenues, rather than increase back door borrowing or user fees and taxes for those who play by the rules?
Will he deal with unions who want to maintain the status quo concerning pensions, medical health benefits and annual salary increases? Will he be able to reduce unfunded state mandates on local municipalities some of which are passed down from Washington as the price to pay for acceptance of both state and federal aid?
Can he consolidate some of the thousands of duplicative, inefficient and sometimes overlapping local school, sewer, water, library, parks and other municipal authorities to foster more efficient delivery of services and savings to taxpayers that are protected by local special interests?
How will he consolidate or eliminate many of the 700 plus state authorities? Some of these have already completed their respective missions or duplicate those of others?
Will he be willing to take on the Wicks Law which forces people to hire up to four prime contractors rather than one? Some argue that this law significantly increases the cost of capital construction projects. Time will tell.