State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mt. Hope), today said the Senate has adopted budget amendments which address important needs in the Hudson Valley and Catskills. The Assembly was expected to adopt those same provisions late Tuesday evening, or early Wednesday. The amendments relate to matters which the Legislature and Governor Pataki had previously not reached agreement on.
Among the amendments included in the budget legislation include:
* $379 million in funding for child care;
* $150 million for Environmental Protection Fund projects;
* $250 million for technology development capital programs;
* $7 million increased funding to rural hospitals.
"These changes reflect priorities which are important to the people of our Senate District. I believe the investments, particularly in technology development, will be helpful in creating jobs in the Hudson Valley," Senator Bonacic said.
The Senator also indicated he was pleased the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) was able to be increased by $25 million to $150 million. "The Environmental protection fund helps protect open space along the Shawangunk Ridge, expand farmland preservation, and fund municipal park initiatives. These are all important to the people of our Senate District," Bonacic said.
In addition, the increased funding for rural hospitals is important to our region, Bonacic said. "We have seen three rural hospitals - in Ellenville, Margaretville, and Sidney have serious financial problems. Increased funding for these and other rural hospitals is important as we seek to strengthen our rural healthcare facilities," the Senator said.
"I am pleased these budget issues were able to be resolved. It is my hope that the Legislature can now turn its attention to substantive legislative issues that affect the people of New York," concluded Senator John Bonacic.