Some Reasons to Be Thankful
New York is actually in better shape than many other states. Yes, it has significant projected financial gaps, but these gaps are smaller (as a percentage of our overall budget) than the gaps that state officials have dealt with successfully in previous years.
The recession is over. Yes, job growth has been stubbornly slow, but key sectors of the economy thought to have lost jobs for good are showing signs of improvement.
Change is coming to state government. The new governor is very capable and appears to have the right set of priorities. Legislative leaders are saying all the right things about the need to work together to address the state’s problems. Sweeping change is probably unlikely, but state leaders are indeed likely to agree on measures that will at least move the state in the right direction.
Bipartisan government is about to be restored in Albany. And the new Republican majority in the Senate appears to understand that it is in its interest to get things done.
The tenor of the public dialogue in New York has changed for the better. After an extended period of excessive partisanship and general rancor, the dialogue seems to be more restrained and perhaps more realistic with regard to the challenges the state faces.
The coverage of state government by the media has improved. Reporters seem more willing to press elected officials for details of their positions. And with exceptions, there appears to be less open booster-ism of officials.
People are more optimistic. More than 70 percent of respondents in a recent poll believe things will get better in New York over the next four years.
Have a great holiday.