ALBANY – The Senate passed a one-house budget resolution today that features initiatives to achieve job creation and economic growth, tax relief, Medicaid reform, and school aid restoration, announced Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I – Olean).
The plan keeps spending growth under two percent and is less than what was proposed in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $132.5 billion budget proposal.
“Our priorities reflect the priorities that people have told us they want and need. This plan is fiscally responsible, yet addresses urgent issues in a positive and productive way,” said Senator Young.
Highlights of the resolution include:
- Cutting taxes for small businesses and providing new incentives to create jobs, such as accelerating by one year the phase-out of the 500 percent energy tax that was passed when New York City controlled all of state government in 2009. This would relieve state businesses and consumers of $300 million in taxes.
- Accelerating the governor’s proposal to freeze counties’ contribution to Medicaid expenses by one year. Beginning the phase-in period in 2012 would save counties $170 million over two years, according to Senator Young.
- Rejecting the governor’s proposal to set aside $250 million for competitive grants to schools and restoring $200 million of that amount to general education aid, with most targeted low-wealth and upstate rural districts.
- Restoring $275 million in direct rebate checks to senior citizens currently eligible for the Enhanced Star property tax-relief program.
- Rejecting mandates and cost-shifts to local governments. The resolution would include incentive aid for municipal-finance reform, which would provide property-tax relief, and mandate relief for counties, such as reforms to the pension system.
This week, Conference Committees will begin to negotiate the final budget, which is expected to pass on or before April 1.