New York State Senator Thomas P. Morahan, (R,C,I, New City) who chairs one of the ten joint legislative budget conference committees announced that intensive discussions over the last few days has resulted in several areas of possible agreement between the legislative and executive branches of government. Areas of agreement will be discussed at the Joint Legislative General Budget Conference today for consideration and action.
Senator Morahan, who is chairing the Joint Legislative Mental Hygiene Budget Conference Committee, reiterated the Senate's budget priorities, including:
Bigger direct property tax rebates
More equitable distribution of school aid
Restore funding cuts to hospitals and nursing homes
Business tax cuts to create jobs
" The State budget framework achieves these priorities because we fought hard for them and refused to back down. We insisted that property taxpayers receive direct property tax rebate checks -- that hundreds of school districts get a fair increase in aid - that hospitals and nursing homes be spared from devastating cuts - and that businesses get real tax relief to create jobs," said Morahan
The budget framework agreement includes the Senate's position in which property taxpayers will receive bigger direct rebate checks - and the money will go into their pockets instead of going to school districts as the Governor proposed.
In addition, the Senator noted that half a billion dollars will be added to education to help ensure a fair distribution of school aid - particularly to high tax districts and other schools that were left behind in the Governor’s budget and faced even higher property taxes to make up for being shortchanged in State aid.
* Combined with federal funds, more than two-thirds of the proposed health care cuts will be restored; more than $350 million in State funds will be added to the budget for hospitals and nursing homes to prevent the loss of care worker jobs and the elimination of patient services.
* The budget will include business tax reductions to help create jobs - the Senate Republicans have been the only ones pushing for business tax cuts to strengthen the economy.
"Time is very short before April 1 -- and there is still more work to be done before a final budget is in place," said Morahan. "We will keep fighting to ensure the final, adopted state budget provides significant tax relief, school aid, tax cuts and support for health care."