Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column
It’s often said that opportunity breeds success. With the passage of the new State Budget comes a wide variety of changes aimed at creating new opportunities that will enable all New Yorkers to continue moving forward.
Last week, I brought you news that my Young Farmers NY plan—aimed at encouraging more young people to enter careers in the agriculture industry—was included in the state’s new spending plan. This is just one of the initiatives included in the State Budget that will help to create more jobs and a better quality of life for those who live in our region. Additional highlights of the 2014-15 spending plan include:
- New, much-needed tax relief for hardworking families, including lower utility taxes and the return of property tax rebate checks;
- A record $1.1 billion increase in State education aid, helping to ensure all students are set on a pathway for future success;
- More funding to help New Yorkers and their families make college more affordable, including a boost in the maximum tuition assistance program (TAP) award;
- More tax relief that will enable small businesses and manufacturers expand, succeed and create jobs;
- New job training opportunities that will help train workers in an effort to help them attain a bright, rewarding future;
- Critical funding to expand the state’s EPIC program, which helps our state’s senior citizens afford the life-saving medications they need to stay healthy.
As your state senator, my goals have been to revitalize our economy, grow jobs, provide relief for hardworking taxpayers and create new opportunities that all have a shot at attaining. With the new 2014-15 State Budget, we have taken major steps forward towards reaching those goals. For more information on the new spending plan—and how it affects you and your family—I encourage you to visit my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov.