By Jon Campbell, Albany Bureau
ALBANY -- The state spent $6,859 per resident last fiscal year while cutting its total spending by $1.3 billion, according to the state Comptroller's Office.
Including federal funds, the state spent $133.5 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31 -- a 1 percent decrease from the previous year, an annual financial report from Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found.
But since 2008, state spending increased by 15 percent, about twice the rate of inflation. State debt totaled $63.3 billion last year -- about $3,253 per resident, according to DiNapoli's office.
"State policy decisions in the past two years have made budgetary balance a primary goal, but challenges still remain," DiNapoli said in a statement. "The challenge is to build on the progress made and put New York State on a truly sustainable fiscal path."
All told, 68 percent of the state's spending went to cover education and health costs, according to the report.
Medicaid costs, for example, have increased steadily since the 2008-09 fiscal year, from $32.8 billion to $41.4 billion last year. The state spends more per pupil on primary and secondary education, according to DiNapoli, spending $18,618 during the 2009-10 school year.