Seward Starts Fine Tuning State Budget
ALBANY, 02/13/14 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) has been named to four key senate budget sub-committees which will review the governor’s budget proposal and offer recommendations for modifications. Senator Seward will serve on the education, general government/local assistance, health, and higher education & arts sub-committees.
“State finances as they relate to education, local government, and health play a vital role in the daily lives of all New Yorkers,” said Senator Seward. “These segments of the budget form the foundation for the overall state spending plan and wise decisions must be made in these areas to ensure a fiscally responsible final product that meets real needs.
“Ensuring fair distribution of education aid is always a balancing act. Last year my advocacy helped direct most of the new state aid to the neediest schools. Continuing in that vein, I will be working to eliminate the gap elimination adjustment (GEA) which has plagued so many area districts.
“The higher education portion of the state budget has become even more vital with the advent of START-UP NY and the new role our SUNY schools are playing in our state’s economic development future. It is also imperative that our facilities and programs are top-notch so our graduates are equipped to succeed in an increasingly challenging job market.”
The sub-committees are an early step in the budget process and a precursor to joint senate/assembly conference committees which, in concert with the governor, develop a final spending plan.
The senate and assembly recently released a joint budget development schedule that sets deadlines that lead to an early adoption of a state budget. The legislative budget schedule for 2014 is as follows:
On or before
February 25 Senate/Assembly Fiscal Committee Economic & Revenue Reports Released
February 26 Joint Revenue Forecasting Conference
March 1 Revenue Consensus Report
March 12 Joint Senate & Assembly budget actions
March 12 Joint Senate/Assembly budget conference committees commence
March 19 Final Report of Joint Conference Committee
March 24-27 Joint Legislative budget bills taken up by Senate & Assembly
“Enacting a state budget that meets real needs, and getting the job done on time for a fourth consecutive year, will be my priorities in the coming weeks,” Seward concluded.