Cuomo Ethics Vow Threatens Streak of Timely Budgets

ALBANY (Bloomberg) -

The streak of on-time budgets that bolstered New York’s standing on Wall Street may be at risk as Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushes lawmakers to disclose outside income.

Cuomo said during a speech in Manhattan last week that he won’t sign a spending plan and will shut down the government if the budget doesn’t include a slate of ethics proposals. He said he expects the demands will meet resistance from lawmakers, after he delivered four timely budgets, the first time that’s happened since 1977.

The state’s fiscal gains have won it breathing room from investors, even if the spending plan misses an April 1 deadline, said Howard Cure, head of municipal research at the New York-based Evercore Wealth Management.

“It wouldn’t be late because of real economic issues or problems balancing the budget,” Cure said. “It’s leverage to achieve something.”

In four years, Cuomo closed more than $12 billion in budget gaps. The combination of timeliness and balanced spending helped the state win its highest rating from Standard & Poor’s since 1972.

The triumvirate who delivered the budgets is now missing one — Cuomo, Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos are there but Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was replaced by an untested Carl Heastie. But the leaders say they are still confident they can get things done.

“We still believe we can pass the enacted budget on time,” Skelos said.