SENATOR BALL PASSES BUDGET, DELIVERS FOR HUDSON VALLEY

 

     

    Albany, N.Y. – (3/30/12) – Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) announced today that the 2012-2013 New York State Budget has been passed.

    “By making tough decisions this year, and last, we set the framework for this bipartisan, balanced, and on time budget,” said Senator Greg Ball. “My main focus in Albany has been to create jobs, and because of this budget, we are well positioned to now deliver critical job creating projects, throughout Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess.”

    The Budget continues Senator Ball’s commitment to fiscal responsibility, job creation and the reduction of red tape in New York’s business climate. The budget also closes a multi-billion dollar deficit with no new taxes, fees or hidden costs to tax payers. As Senator Ball has promised, the New York State spending growth was limited to two percent or below for the second year in a row.

    “Even though we made tough cuts, I am proud to report that we were able to secure increased aid to local schools, local infrastructure projects, local roads and bridges, said Senator Ball. “We have also restored EPIC funding for seniors and passed legislation and secured funds for the first ever state wide veterans cemetery program.”

    The deliverable for the Hudson Valley include:

    Increase in school aid:

    • $ 215,352,661 total in for 40th District.
    • Each district receives a minimum increase of 0.6 percent over their 2011-12 foundation aid program as well as increasing the phase-in of the aid program from 37.5 percent of the total to 39.2 percent of the total program.
    • In addition the school aid agreement provides for a $29.7 million restoration of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA).
    • Lastly the school aid agreement provides for an increase of $33.1 million in reimbursement for expense base aids.

    Hudson Valley –  NY Works Funding:

    • $366  million in total Transportation project  ($22.4 State Funds)
    • $25 million in total Water Projects – all Environmental Facilities Funds
    • $33.2 million in Parks Projects –  ($29.2 million State Funds)
    • $5.6 million in DEC Infrastructure funding

    Hudson Valley – Other Funding:

    • Westchester County Policing Program  — $2 million
    • $1.3 million from elimination of MTA payroll tax for library systems
    • Dutchess County Freeze of local Medicaid –  $6.7 milion over fours beginning in SFY 2013-14
    • Putnam County Freeze of local Medicaid — $1.5 million over four years beginning in SFY 2013-14
    • Westchester County Freeze of local Medicaid –  $34.2 million over four years beginning in SFY 2013-14
    • Westchester Bus $43.7 in SFY 2011-12 increased to $46.7 in SFY 2012-13
    • Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) – SFY 2012-13
      • Putnam County — $2,587,068
      • Putnam  —  $825,260
      • Westchester –  $2,563,916
    • Aid to Municipalities
      • $2.2 million — Peekskill
    • Increase in STAR Rebate for Seniors
      • $32,247,600  –  Dutchess
      • $319,041,052  –  Westchester
      • $32,247, 600  –  Putnam

    Other key provisions of the budget will promote economic development and transportation initiatives, important reforms to improve government efficiency, and measures to strengthen communities across the state. These provisions include:

    • Fiscal integrity – for the second year in a row, the state spending growth was held to 2%! The Budget maintains two percent or less year to year growth in state spending, consistent with the tax cap on local governments. State Funds will total approximately $88.8 billion in 2012-13. The Budget achieves flat state agency spending through the ongoing redesign of agency operations to reduce duplication, redundancy and waste. Since 2010, the deficits have been reduced by a cumulative $72 billion since taking office.
    • All Funds Spending Reduced. All Funds spending will total approximately $132.6 billion, a decrease of $135 million from last year. This is the second consecutive year with a net reduction in All Funds spending, the first time this has happened in at least three decades.
    • The New York Works Task Force. This will invest billions of dollars to rebuild the state’s roads, bridges, parks, and other infrastructure and create tens of thousands of jobs. The New York Works Task Force will reinvent state economic development with an innovative new strategy that will put New Yorkers back to work rebuilding the state’s infrastructure. The Task Force will create tens of thousands of jobs by coordinating comprehensive capital plans, overseeing all investment in infrastructure projects, and accelerating hundreds of critical projects across the state.
    • The New York Works projects will create a new sense of government transparency, with real-time updates posted on the web, so that New Yorkers can track the progress of projects in their community. The full list will be posted online over the next several days.
    • Rebuild Roads and Bridges. The Budget funds the New York Works Program with $232 million in state capital funds and $917 million in new Federal funds for a total of $1.2 billion in new spending to accelerate repair, replacement and improvement of deficient roads and bridges. This funding is over and above the $1.6 billion already allocated this year to the core transportation capital program for roads and bridges. This program is in addition to the advancement of the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project that will inject billions more into the regional and state economy.

      Thirty-two percent of the state’s bridges are rated deficient and forty percent of the state’s pavement surface is rated deficient. The additional $1.2 billion in accelerated projects selected by the Department of Transportation will include $212 million to address bridge deck and structural replacement or rehabilitation needs on approximately 115 bridges, $250 million for more than 2,000 miles of low cost pavement preservation and pavement treatments, and $700 million for transportation projects of regional or statewide significance throughout the state that had been delayed due to resource constraints.

      The New York Works Program’s Accelerated Bridge and Pavement program will expedite projects of regional significance to immediately create jobs, address critical infrastructure needs, and achieve savings. The Accelerated Bridge and Pavement program represents a different way of doing business for New York State. Rather than executing 100 different contracts for 100 different bridges, projects will be consolidated under regional contracts – a more efficient process that will enable the state to complete critical projects on time and under budget.

    • Second Round of Regional Council Awards. Last year, state funding was given out through a competitive application process. Ten Regional Councils that developed long term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. These Councils were part of a process that awarded $785 million for job creation and community development. The Budget authorizes a second round of funding for the Regional Councils, including $220 million to implement regional strategic plans – $150 million in new capital funding and $70 million in tax credits from the Excelsior Jobs Program.

    In addition, resources from a wide range of existing agency programs will be available to businesses and sponsors for economic development purposes that are consistent with Regional Council plans through the innovative Consolidated Funding Application. This process allows one-stop access for project sponsors to apply and compete for over $500 million in additional funding available through existing agency programs.

    • Transforming State Procurement Process. The Budget includes new measures to allow state agencies to purchase common goods and services through centralized contracts. The Office of General Services (OGS) will be able to buy in bulk – from pens to cars – harnessing the state’s purchasing power to save $100 million in 2012-2013 and a
      projected $755 million over five years. The budget further eliminates the duplicative and wasteful review of statewide centralized contracts, accelerating the opportunity for agencies to use the new centralized contracts and achieve savings as soon as possible. Local governments and not-for-profits will be able to participate in the new centralized
      contracting process, increasing the state’s purchasing power, while passing down reduced costs to localities and multiplying the savings OGS will achieve for the taxpayers.
    • Consolidating Government.  In addition to creating a New York State Gaming Commission through the merger of the Division of Lottery and the Racing and Wagering Board, the Budget includes transferring the management and operations of the Belleayre
      Ski Center from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA). Given ORDA’s expertise in managing other ski centers (Gore and Whiteface), Governor Cuomo proposed this transfer to improve operations and opportunities for tourism at Belleayre Mountain.

       

      The Budget further includes the elimination of 25 boards and commissions that are no longer active or whose missions have been completed or become redundant. To continue making government more efficient, the bill includes mergers and consolidations of boards that have related missions.

    • Funding the MTA Capital Plan to Improve Transit in New York. The Budget includes the Governor’s plan to support full funding of the MTA with $770 million of direct funding from the state. The five-year MTA capital plan contains projects critical to the Hudson Valley, and that will produce tens of thousands of jobs.
    • Repairing New York’s Dams and Flood Control Infrastructure. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation maintains 106 flood control projects, of which 91 have been rated “minimally acceptable” or “unacceptable” by the Army Corps of Engineers. Additionally, the Department owns 577 dams statewide. Of the DEC owned dams, DEC engineers classify at least 24 dams as “high” and “intermediate” hazard structures, where failure poses serious threat to human life or significant property damage. The New York Works Funds will designate $102 million, leveraging more than $100 million in matching funds, to repair aged and otherwise failing structures, including levees, flood walls, dams, pumps and channels. The $102 million will include $18.5 million to repair state-owned dams, $56 million to perform maintenance of flood control facilities such as levees, and $27 million to implement coastal hazard and inlet navigation maintenance projects, plus over $100 million in matching funds.
    • Increase in school aid and reform to teacher disciplinary hearings. The Budget includes a total of approximately $20.4 billion for school aid, including performance grants to reward academic improvement and school district efficiencies. This represents an increase of $805 million in total education spending, with most of the allocated increase targeted to high needs school districts. The budget includes a total of $125 million to be allocated for performance grants, including $50 million in continuing payments to the school districts who will receive awards in the first round of grants, and an additional $75 million in awards to a second round of school districts.

    The Budget includes several reforms to the teacher disciplinary process. The reforms include allowing the State Education Department to set reasonable limits on the costs of teacher disciplinary hearings, disqualify hearing officers who fail to comply with statutory deadlines and allow the State make use of new technology to help reduce the cost of the hearing.

    • Foreclosure Relief Unit. The Budget provides $9 million for the continuation of mortgage foreclosure counseling services through Homes and Community Renewal, with additional services financed with proceeds of the National Mortgage Servicing Settlement Agreement. In addition, the Department of Financial Services will establish a new Foreclosure Relief Unit to provide counseling and mediation services to help New Yorkers stay in their homes.

    For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Joe Bachmeier: (845) 200-9716.

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