June 28, 2010

Assembly Protects Schools, Preserves Access to Higher Education through Passage of Budget Legislation

Measure Passed Today Reflects Two-way Agreement with Senate, Restores $600 Million in Education Cuts, $49 Million to TAP, $56 Million to Community Colleges and $92 Million to Adult Homeless Shelters

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Ways and Means Committee Chair Herman D. Farrell, Jr. today announced the passage of legislation agreed to with the Senate that will finalize the remaining areas of Education, Labor and Family Assistance. While accepting most of the reductions proposed by the Executive, the Assembly approved restorations to education and higher education, as well as a complete restoration of the Executive's proposed cut to homeless shelters.

"We could not, in good conscience, accept all of the cuts proposed by the Executive and watch our strong public school system fall by the wayside," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "Preparing young New Yorkers for entrance into the workforce will ensure the steady revitalization of our economy. Our restoration of cuts to the Tuition Assistance Program and community colleges further emphasizes the Assembly Majority's continued commitment to education."

"It's hard to imagine a child receiving a solid education without the inclusion of art and music, but that's what many schools would be forced to cut - along with many other vital areas - if the budget included the cuts proposed by the Executive," said Farrell (D-Manhattan). The Assembly's restoration to school aid is indicative of our commitment to our children and future generations. Additionally, the Assembly rejected a devastating cut to adult homeless shelters - having a roof over your head is a necessity, not a luxury, and we need to protect our neediest New Yorkers."

The legislation passed today keeps government running and includes education, higher education and human services spending of $57.9 billion, in addition to $62 billion that has already been approved through budget legislation in these areas.

In order to protect those New Yorkers with little or no income, the Assembly approved a full restoration ($92 million) in funding for adult homeless shelters. Additionally, the legislation passed today includes:

Recognizing the devastating effect that deep cuts to education would have, the Assembly restored $600 million in education cuts. This will help provide property tax relief and ensure that schools can avoid cuts to vital programs and layoffs.

Higher Education
The legislation passed today also restores $49 million in proposed cuts to the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), which would include: The Assembly also approved a $56 million restoration to proposed community college cuts, which will help assure that New Yorkers across the state have access to an affordable, quality college education. These restorations include $40.3 million to State University of New York and $16.4 million to City University of New York schools, which represent a base aid restoration of $285 per full-time equivalent.