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Cuomo Studies Options For Use Of $4.2 Billion Budget Surplus

FILE -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Getty Images)

FILE — Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Getty Images)

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ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week was studying options for how to spend a $4.2 billion state budget surplus.

The windfall came as a result of recent financial settlements with banks and insurance companies, state officials said.

BNP Paribas, for example, agreed to pay a $2.2 billion penalty to the state after pleading guilty to charges that it violated economic sanctions by processing transactions for clients in blacklisted countries including Sudan, Cuba and Iran.

The administration said the windfall from the Paribas penalty will be used to help limit annual spending growth to less than 2 percent, not on special one-time programs or projects. And $298 million from that settlement will go into a special fund for addiction treatment at the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, officials said — a 51 percent boost above the agency’s budget for the year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration said Monday that it was reviewing options for the remaining unanticipated revenue. Possibilities include paying down state debt, building up the state’s financial reserves, or spending the money on one-time capital expenses.

The money would certainly help cover the cost of one big-ticket item — the new Tappan Zee Bridge, which has a price tag of $3.9 billion.

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