Don’t look now, New Yorkers, but your state government is sinking to California-like depths of lousiness. New York’s 2010 budgetary fitness ranks below that of 33 other states in Pew’s latest ranking, trailing the likes of Louisiana, Alaska, and South Carolina. And that’s unlikely to improve, “because New York’s elected officials seem determined to make us No. 1 in dysfunction,” Chris Smith writes for New York magazine.
Legislators are so beholden to campaign donors, particularly unions representing teachers and health care workers, that they won’t make serious spending cuts. They won’t do something until the state’s sunk “to truly Californian desperation.” That might not take long. Though New York’s foreclosure and unemployment figures are better, it’s losing revenue faster. “California’s budget is in worse shape now,” said one analyst. “But we could get there yet.”