ALBANY, 03/14/14 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on passage of the senate’s budget resolution for fiscal year 2014-15:
“The senate budget plan fulfills many of the priorities expressed to me by families, employers, and community groups that make up my senate district. Approval of the plan also means we are on track to pass an on-time state budget for a fourth straight year.
“Among the highlights - property tax relief to combat the greatest expense families and business in New York face; education aid that will support our neediest schools; and job creation incentives which will help boost economic development.
“The senate’s ‘Freeze Plus NY’ program simplifies the governor’s proposal and offers $1.4 billion in property tax relief over two years. It also strengthens the STAR program and will help local governments and schools budget stay within the property tax cap.
“School aid will jump by $811.9 million from last year with a $541 million restoration of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) which has hurt our area schools.
“Tax relief for manufacturers and the elimination of the energy tax surcharge will open the door to job creation, and vital agriculture programs will create new opportunities for our next generation of farmers.
“A blueprint to help families afford the high cost of college is also included through an increase in tuition assistance, a revolving loan fund, and a new tax credit for graduates who stay and work in New York. The plan also rejects the governor’s ill conceived scheme to give free college tuition to prison inmates.
“Now the senate and assembly will convene conference committees and work together, in concert with the governor, to resolve any differences and adopt a final budget that meets real needs and creates new opportunities, locally and statewide.”