STATEMENT BY SENATOR PATTY RITCHIE ON ADOPTION OF NEW STATE BUDGET
Earlier today, the State Senate finished work on the most family- and Middle Class-friendly state budget in a generation. The Assembly is expected to pass the bills later this week.
Once again, the new budget holds the line on spending—the third year in a row that the budget spends less than inflation—includes urgently needed tax relief for the Middle Class, provides critical support for family farmers, and invests in education, job creation and a stronger economy.
It is by no means a perfect budget, and there are a number of issues—most notably in the areas of public health and services for people with special needs—where I will continue to work to find ways to soften the impact of budget changes and advocate for those who most need our help.
But this budget continues to show my commitment to helping Middle Class families, supporting our schools and small business, and creating a better future for New Yorkers.
Highlights of the 2013-14 Budget
Middle Class Tax Cuts
* Extends recently enacted Middle Class tax rates that are the lowest in 60 years
* Fulfills my pledge to restore tax rebates for Middle Class families, with a $350 rebate check to families in 2014
* Increased investment in property tax relief through the popular STAR program
* Cuts electric bills for households, farms and businesses with the phase-out of a 2009 energy tax
* Includes the largest one-year increase in aid to public schools—5.6% to 48th Senate District schools
* Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence County schools receive an increase of $25 million, $7 million more than in the Governor’s proposal
* Changes to the state aid formula sought by Senator Ritchie drive more aid to rural and poorer Upstate districts
* First increase in funding for key agriculture support programs, a key goal of Senator Ritchie’s “Grown in NY” plan
* New and restored agriculture program funding totals $4.27 million
* New marketing programs to help farmers grow their businesses
“For More Information” Budget-Related Links:
Links to Budget Bills: