Today the New York State Senate completed passage of the remaining bills to close out the 2012-13 budget process. This year the budget passed ahead of the March 31st deadline. Below is a brief description of some of the items contained in the remaining bills which passed today. For more information on the budget legislation, click on the links provided.
For Fiscal year 2012-13 all funds spending will total approximately $132.6 billion, which is a reduction from the previous fiscal year by $135 million.
S6254-D Capital Projects Budget
$150 million in capital funds are dedicated to support the second round of funding for the Regional Economic Development Councils.
$75 million in capital funding for the New York Works Economic Development Fund.
$770 million capital projects funding for the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).
S6250-D State Operations Budget
Provides for reimbursement of medicare premium charges for employees and retired employees of the state, public authorities, public benefit corporations or other quasi-public organizations of the state.
Pays the Metropolitan Transportation Authority the costs associated with reimbursements for E-ZPass tolls paid by the residents of Broad Channel and the Rockaway Peninsula for travel over the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge.
Establishes an education reform program, which will among other things protect against cyber bullying.
S6253-E Aid to Localities Budget
Provides $9.1 million for community college based aid for a $150 per full time student equivalent.
The SFY 2012-13 funding for the Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) Program is increased by $1 million from SFY 2011-12 allocation of $17.3 million.
Provides aid totaling of $2.089 million for the NYS Defenders Association to be handled by the Office of Indigent Legal Services.
1.6 million in new funding to support expenses associated with the full implementation of the 2010 Business Diversity Act, as well as the development of an MWBE Monitoring and Compliance System.
S6256-D Health and Mental Hygiene Budget
Includes $34.1 restoration for the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program. Totaling $152.5 million.
In 2013-14, local government Medicaid growth will be reduced to two percent, and then reduced by an additional one percent annually over the subsequent two years so that in 2015-16, counties and New York City will no longer have to contribute toward the growth of Medicaid expenses. The takeover of the three percent Medicaid growth factor will save counties and New York City $1.2 billion over five state fiscal years.
S6257-E Education, Labor and Family Assistance Budget
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 is 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.
Establishes a statewide system of teacher and principal evaluations.
Also included in the enacted budget is:
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 a detailed look at all of the enacted budget bills visit, nysenate.gov 
and in the “legislation” tab type in any of the below bill numbers:
S6250, S6251, S6252, S6253, S6254, S6255, S6256, S6257, S6258, S6259
Malcolm A. Smith is the New York State Senate Immediate Past President Pro Tempore (2008-10). He currently serves as Secretary of the NYS Democratic Conference and ranking member on the Banking Committee.