Senate Minorioty Leader Dean Skelos along with his colleagues in the Senate Republican Conference today proposed an amendment to deficiency budget legislation being advanced by Senate Democrats that would restore $2.7 million to libraries and $6.3 million to non-public schools. The Senate Democrats voted to defeat the amendment.
The funds were eliminated as part of last year’s budget and during last summer’s special session in August.
"One of our main priorities as elected officials is to ensure that the State maintains its commitment to education, and libraries and non-public schools are an integral part of the education system in New York," said Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos. "I’m disappointed the Senate Democrats voted to defeat this amendment that would have restored these funds at a time when our libraries and schools need them most."
"Our public libraries contribute so much to the education of our children, and play an integral role in communities throughout the State," said Senator Hugh Farley. "Especially during difficult economic times, more and more families turn to their local library for their educational, and recreational, needs. It is vital that we do all we can to protect these important resources in our communities – this amendment would have restored valuable funds."
"Non-public schools educate thousands of New York Students and it is our duty to ensure they receive adequate funds to provide our students with a sound education," said Senator John Flanagan, ranking member of the Senate Education Committee. "We have an opportunity to restore funds that were wrongly eliminated last year, and I regret that my colleagues across the aisle failed to act on this opportunity."
Under the proposed amendment, the funds would have been restored using additional unanticipated General Fund revenues.