Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C Poughkeepsie) today announced the Senate has passed a budget plan for the State that contains no new fees or taxes and makes sound investments in education and health. The Senate plan spends less than the Governor’s budget proposal, but ensures a balanced budget by substituting other revenue sources, and advancing approximately $300 million in across the board spending cuts and an additional $600 million in other cuts.
"As the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, I was astounded the Governor’s budget proposal severely shortchanged upstate schools by reneging on school aid promised last year", said Senator Saland. "Local taxpayers should not have to bear the brunt of inadequate state funding to schools. The Senate’s budget restores that funding and protects property tax payers from having to shoulder that burden."
The Senate’s budget:
- adds more than $540 million in education aid and creates a fair and equitable funding formula
- adds $78.2 million for BOCES programs and $114.9 million for High Tax Aid that will ensure that no school district will receive less in High Tax Aid than they did in 2007-08
- restores over $100 million in aid to higher education to help keep college affordable
- restores $482 million in health care cuts and rejects almost $400 million in higher health care taxes to help keep hospitals and nursing homes viable
- rejects half the shift in public assistance costs and youth detention costs to counties, which would have costs local taxpayers $55 million
- rejects the 300% increase on motor vehicle registration fees and higher gasoline taxes
- restores $319 million in promised STAR school property tax relief eliminated by the Governor
"The Senate’s budget is a sensible plan that puts money back in taxpayers’ wallets and restores promised aid to schools and health care facilities. Now we begin the process of negotiating the budget with the Assembly, with an eye toward the April 1st deadline. I remain hopeful that, despite recent events, we can continue to do the people’s business and enact an on-time budget that holds the line on taxes and keeps the promises we made to our schools," Saland concluded.