The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S6377), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport), that completely eliminates the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) this year and ends its devastating impact on state funding to public schools. Nearly $434 million in GEA cuts remain for schools in 2016-17 and this proposal would permanently abolish those education budget reductions.
Senator Flanagan said, “The Senate’s top education funding priority this year will be the complete elimination of the GEA. Since 2011, the Senate Republicans have worked to restore $3 billion in funding that was lost to schools because of the GEA and we will not pass any budget that does not fully eliminate it this year. The GEA has been hurting schools and students for way too long and it is past time that we end it once and for all.”
The bill passed today is part of the Senate Republicans’ longstanding priority to make record investments in education in New York State.
The GEA was first imposed on New Yorkers in 2010 by former Governor David Paterson and the Democrats who controlled the Senate and Assembly. The entire Senate Republican Conference voted against the GEA because it created severe cuts to the bottom lines for public schools.
Since it was first approved, Senate Republicans have been leading the charge to abolish the GEA and deliver major funding increases to help mitigate its impact on education. In the past five years, the GEA cuts have been reduced by approximately 85 percent to $434 million in the 2015-16 budget. Last year alone, the Senate Republicans successfully negotiated an additional $603 million to help schools overcome the GEA challenge created by Democrats and helped restore millions of dollars in state aid to schools.
The bill will be sent to the Assembly.
Today the Senate also passed legislation establishing the Education Investment Tax Credit (S1976A) to create new tax incentives for contributing to schools and encourage charitable investments that benefit students.