Albany- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) has issued the following statement in response to the passage of the 2011-2012 New York State Budget:
“Shortly before midnight last night, the New York State Senate enacted the 2011-2012 State Budget before the constitutionally mandated deadline of March 31st, marking the first early budget for the state since 1983. Working in an open, transparent and bipartisan way with Governor Cuomo we enact a fiscally responsible and balanced budget that closes an estimated $10 billion deficit without resorting to raising taxes or a risky borrowing scheme.
In short this budget reduces spending, cuts taxes and will help to create private sector jobs. While the fiscal crisis in the state posed great challenges and tough choices throughout the budget process, the enacted reduces year-to-year spending by 2 percent and decreases State operations expenses by 10 percent. Both actions are key to reducing the deficit for the 2011-2012 fiscal year and will make significant reduce the deficit in future years.
The enacted budget addresses many of the key priorities important to our community. It includes the full restoration of Title XX funding, which is instrumental to keeping our local senior centers open and their vital services available. The $22.5 million restoration of Title XX funding this budget now brings the total funding for Title XX to $33.6 billion.
Under this budget, New York City will receive $53 million more in education funding than what was proposed by Governor Cuomo. Additionally we restored funding to “4201” schools which provide an education to children who are deaf and blind. These programs in New York City will receive more funding than any other region in our state. The enacted budget also eliminates the City from a $100 million cost shift to city tax bills with a $33 million restoration in summer school employment programs and a nearly $60 million for special education.
New York spends more than any other state in the nation when it comes to the Medicaid program. I have made reforming the Medicaid system and protecting hardworking taxpayers in New York from escalating cost in the program a top priority. The enacted budget cuts New York’s Medicaid spending by $2.8 billion and takes the first steps towards reforming and right sizing the program. With New York City paying a 25 percent share of Medicaid these reforms when coupled with the Medicaid cap will help save New York City hundreds of millions of dollars both in the short and long term.
Additionally, starting April 1, the state sales tax exemption on clothing will be reduced resulting in no sales tax on clothing under $55 with an entire expiration taking place later in the year. This action will provide a great benefit to New York City’s middle class families and clothing retailers.
From the very onset of the budget process, I stood up and fought for the programs and issues important to the people I represent- from the senior centers, to education and reforming New York’s Medicaid program. Restoring accountability and making your state function again- are firm commitments I have consistently made to our community. I have kept that commitment strong with the passage of a smart and fiscally sound budget that will put New York on the road to recovery today and into the future.”