Senate Passes Budget That Reduces Spending, Invests in New York's Priorities and Includes No New Taxes

The New York State Senate passed its budget resolution - - a fiscally sound plan that reduces spending, rejects tax increases and makes responsible investments in New York’s future.

The Senate budget largely mirrors the priorities outlined in Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget and will serve as a real roadmap to the enactment of a responsible, on-time budget.

“Today’s passage of our Senate budget puts us on a path to strengthening New York this year and for the future. By controlling spending, reducing taxes and focusing on helping the private sector create jobs, Senate Republicans have shown that we’re listening to the calls of hard-working, middle-class New Yorkers and their families,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said.

The Senate budget closes a $10 billion budget deficit without raising taxes, and allows the PIT (Personal Income Tax) surcharge to sunset as scheduled so small businesses and others can get back to creating jobs for workers.

“The message from our communities was clear. People were tired of being overburdened by taxes that came as a result of outrageous spending. We needed to reign in the state’s spending increases that have taken place in recent years for our fiscal health. It is paramount to our future,” said Senator Jack M. Martins.

Coming in at approximately $132.5 billion, the Senate budget spends slightly less than the Executive Budget and stabilizes the State’s finances this year and in future years. Senate Republicans accept the Governor’s recommended caps on future Medicaid and education spending, which is in line with previous Senate Republican calls for passage of a State spending cap.

“The Senate’s budget will put our State back on sound financial footing by closing a $10 billion budget deficit without raising taxes. It gives small businesses the ability to begin creating jobs to get our economy back on track, and the caps on Medicaid and education spending, which mirrors Senate Republican calls for passage of an overall state spending cap, allow us to control spending going forward,” Senator John DeFrancisco, the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said.

The Senate accepts 95 percent of the $2.9 billion in reductions and reforms recommended of the Governor's Medicaid Redesign Team and authorizes counties to eliminate optional Medicaid services - - building on the Senate Republican’s commitment to reducing the cost of the Medicaid program to ease the burden on state and local taxpayers.

The Senate budget includes the Governor’s proposed Power for Jobs program bill to address the pressing need to help businesses create jobs. The Senate passed the Governor’s program bill earlier this year.

The Senate budget eliminates $296 million in cost shifts to local governments that could have led to property tax increases at the local level. While Senate Republicans are committed to delivering real and lasting mandate relief to local governments and school districts who are dealing with soaring costs which are sometimes out of their control, the State must also mitigate cost shifts that impact their budgets and local taxes.

The budget includes a modified version of LIFO supported by Mayor Bloomberg that continues efforts to reach a three-way education reform solution so that every student has the best possible teacher leading his or her classroom.

On prisons, the Senate Budget includes alternative language to the Governor’s Executive Order to ensure that any closures are done in a way that minimizes the impact on the local community. It creates a Prison Efficiency Task Force that would recommend cost-saving strategies the Department of Correction and identify minimum and medium security facilities to close. The proposal sets forth criteria for the task force to consider, including marketability, value, economic impact, cost, workforce productivity and impact on unemployment.

Senate Republicans also advance various budget reforms, including GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) accounting, performance budgeting and creation of an independent budget office, and remain committed to open, public conference committees to finalize an enacted budget before the April 1 deadline.