It's over -- at least for the moment -- and New York State finally has a fiscal 1992 budget.
Just after dawn on July 4, the Legislature finished its six-month fireworks display by passing a revised fiscal 1992 budget, this one with $700 million of spending restorations. Most of the money had been part of the original budget -- approved on June 4, 65 days over the deadline -- but Gov. Mario M. Cuomo had vetoed it.
Details of the final package were still sketchy on Friday afternoon as the staffs of legislators and the state's budget divisions reviewed the documents. Lawmakers and the governor are expected to have plenty of loose ends to tie up over the summer and possibly beyond.
Among the revenue-raising measures added to the budget is a personal income tax increase for some New Yorkers intended to raise $100 million in revenues. Supporting the increase marks a turnaround for Gov. Cuomo and Republican senators, including their majority leader Ralph J. Marino.
And $80 million of revenue bonds will be sold by the New York State Thruway Authority to pay for the authority's capital expenses and reduce tis take on the state budget.
After concluding one of the state's longest and most bitter budget feuds, lawmakers adjourned for a summer recess.
In a joint statement, Mr. Cuomo, Mr. Marino, and Assembly Speaker Mel Miller, D-Brooklyn, said, "The level of spending will be less than that sought by the Legislature and greater than that recommended previously by the governor."
When he presented his executive budget in January, Mr. Cuomo called for a total budget of $51 billion. In the ensuing months of budget wrangling, lawmakers had agreed to stick to that spending level. However, in that last four weeks, the size of the budget is thought to have increased because of the spending restorations.
Until the dust settles and budget officials can review the figures, the exact size of the state's fiscal 1992 budget remains a mystery.
Meanwhile, New York City saw one of the last pieces of its fiscal 1992 budget fall into place when state lawmakers finally approved the city's proposed personal income tax increase to generate $335 million in the city's fiscal 1992 year, which began last Monday. The rate increase , from 3.91% to 4.46%, would remain in effect for three years beginning this year.
But for just a moment, it appeared the city's revenue package might not make it because six Republican state senators representing districts in New York City wanted strings attached to the tax increase that would require the city to downsize government and maintain structurally balanced budgets.
In the end, the city got what it wanted without the rigorous stipulations. But in another joint statement Gov. Cuomo, Mr. Marino, and Mr. Miller said, "While all three of us recognize that this request to increase the personal income tax is necessary on the short run, the Legislature has grave reservations.
"The three of us also recognize that increasing taxes is not the ultimate answer for the city's long term fiscal stability nor the solution to needed structural reforms," they said.
Both legislative leaders said they supported a joint effort by the city and state -- announced by Mayor David N. Dinkins and Gov. Cuomo at the latest meeting of the Financial Control Board -- to study downsizing government, achieving structurally balanced budgets, and restructuring the relation between the city and the state.