ALBANY, 03/17/14 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) has been named to the education and higher education budget conference committees which held their first meetings today in Albany.
Regarding his education conference committee assignment Senator Seward said:
"The senate budget resolution increases school aid by $811.9 million from last year with a $541 million restoration of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) which has hurt our area schools. Eliminating the GEA has been a top priority for me, and, to date, the senate is the only legislative branch to fully target this unfair hit on our area schools."
Regarding his higher education conference committee assignment Senator Seward said:
"Our SUNY schools and community colleges are the birthplace of our future leaders, and the driving force behind many local economies. The senate plan, which I endorse, will ensure an affordable, high-quality college education remains within reach for our young people without saddling them with a lifetime of debt. The senate plan also includes funding for vital needs like Harvest New York, childcare centers, and campus upgrades."
The conference committees are made up of five senators and five assemblymen tasked with negotiating budget differences between the houses, in concert with the governor, to develop a final spending plan. The committees conduct open, public meetings which can be viewed on-line at nysenate.gov.
“Bipartisan conference committees have produced winning results in recent years, and I am confident this process can again deliver an on-time, balanced budget that meets real needs, while building on our recent efforts to hold the line on property taxes, and grow jobs,” Seward concluded.