March 28, 2013

Assembly to Pass Third Consecutive On-Time Budget that Closes $1.3 Billion Budget Gap and Limits Spending Growth to Less than One Percent
Spending Plan Is an Investment in Education, Working Families and Job Creation

Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Ways and Means Chair Herman D. Farrell, Jr. announced today the passage of a State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2013-2014 Budget that closes a $1.3 billion budget deficit. The $141.3 billion spending plan includes increased aid for local schools and community colleges, tax relief for working families and federal funding to help pay for the clean-up following Superstorm Sandy. The budget makes investments in our local governments and economic development as well as infrastructure and affordable housing.

Absent $5 billion in federal storm aid and $1 billion in federal funding for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the budget totals $135.1 billion, an increase in All Funds spending of $1 billion or 0.74 percent.

"The SFY 2013-14 state budget, New York's third consecutive on-time budget, addresses what have always been the Assembly Majority's core priorities. It makes the critical investments in public education, public health and affordable housing while honoring the moral obligation to preserve the social safety net. It funds infrastructure development and workforce training, while spurring job creation throughout the state and providing tax relief to hardworking middle-class families and small businesses. In addition, thanks to the persistence of the Assembly Majority, this budget ensures that hundreds of thousands of hardworking, minimum-wage-earning New Yorkers will be receiving much-deserved and badly needed raises in each of the next two years," said Silver.

"The spending plan we expect to pass today is financially sound and fiscally prudent. It will close the state's $1.3 billion budget gap primarily through spending control and will keep All Funds spending growth under one percent. When fully phased in, the SFY 2013-14 budget will provide critical tax actions that will provide needed relief to working families and to small business, reduce the tax rate on manufacturing companies, and promote job creation as well as increase employment opportunities for our veterans and our inner-city youth," said Farrell.

Benefitting Students by Strengthening our Education System

The SFY 2013-2014 budget agreement allocates $21.2 billion in aid for local school districts for the 2013-2014 School Year (SY). Formula Aid will be distributed in the amount of $20.8 billion. This is an increase of $936 million over SY 2012-2013.

The budget agreement includes $25 million for the creation of additional half-day and full-day prekindergarten slots as well as $20 million for Extended Learning Time. It also allocates $14.26 million for Teacher Resource and Computer Training Centers, $86.9 million in Aid to Public Libraries, and $137.5 million in Aid to Nonpublic Schools.

Districts that were subject to the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) penalty in the current year will not sustain the penalty in successive school years. The APPR penalty to New York City and other districts will be addressed with the restoration of $240 million for future years.

Improving and Expanding Higher Education

The 2013-2014 Budget includes higher education appropriations that will decrease the financial burden on community college students, preserve funding for SUNY and CUNY child care centers and increase aid to opportunity programs. The plan also includes an additional $150 per full-time equivalent (FTE) SUNY and CUNY community college student to raise the total community college base aid to $2,422 per FTE. By raising community college aid, the state reduces a financial burden for both students and municipalities.

Under the plan, funding totaling $3.1 million is maintained for child care services at state colleges and community colleges. This service provides important wrap-around support for student parents, forwarding their goal of academic achievement and professional advancement.

Opportunity programs saw a funding increase of 3 percent across the board, for a total increase of $2.9 million and a total appropriation of $98.9 million to support their critical goal of providing academic and supportive services to economically and educationally disadvantaged residents for 2013-2014.

Investing in Our Children and Families

The budget agreement includes more than $21 million for safety net programs and $10 million for services that support children and families. The spending plan restores $1.3 million for the Youth Development Program and $254,456 for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program. The agreement adds nearly $10 million to the Office of Children and Family Services for supportive programs for children including Child Care Subsidies ($1 million); Community Reinvestment ($1.8 million); Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children ($1.7 million); Caseload Reduction for Child Protective Services caseworkers ($757,200); Child Advocacy Centers ($750,000); and Boys and Girls Clubs ($750,000).

The fiscal plan makes critical investments to preserve Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs that assist families in achieving self-sufficiency. The agreement restores more than $21 million for TANF initiatives. Major restorations include Facilitated Enrollment ($7.3 million); Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking (ATTAIN) ($4.1 million); Nurse-Family Partnership ($2 million); Non-Residential Domestic Violence ($1.2 million); Settlement Houses ($1 million); Wage Subsidy ($950,000); ACCESS-Welfare-to-Careers ($800,000); Career Pathways ($750,000); Preventive Services ($610,000); Advantage Schools ($500,000); and Emergency Homeless Needs ($500,000).

Relief for Working Families

Fulfilling the Assembly Majority's ongoing commitment to assist New York's working families, the budget will raise the minimum wage to $9.00 over the course of two years. There will be two 75 cent increases, bringing the wage to $8.00 on December 31, 2013 and $8.75 on December 31, 2014. On December 31, 2015 the wage will be increased to $9.00 for minimum wage earners.

Tax-relief measures for middle-income families, which will generate $2 billion, will also be preserved for the next three years. The plan was first implemented in 2012 to restore equity and fairness to the personal income tax code, the first major restructuring of the tax code in decades. The tax code provides $690 million in tax relief to more than 4.4 million middle-class New York taxpayers annually.

The inner-city youth employment program, a $24 million tax credit over four years for employers who hire unemployed youth 16 to 24 years of age, will also be renewed and extended through 2017.

Providing, Improving and Expanding Affordable Housing

Initiatives included in the 2013-2014 Budget agreement would increase affordable housing options for working families and seniors by financing acquisitions and renovations totaling $1 billion over five years, resulting in the creation of more than 14,300 affordable housing units. This program will utilize funds to revitalize 45 Mitchell-Lama housing projects and create over 5,000 new affordable housing units through various community development programs.

The state budget makes key investments in programs that keep quality housing affordable for New York's working families and seniors living on fixed incomes by including $5.8 million to fund the Tenant Protection Unit. The plan also includes $10 million to preserve the Neighborhood Preservation Program and $4.2 million for the Rural Preservation Program. The agreement also includes an initial $17.6 million in funding this year to rehabilitate and improve existing Mitchell-Lama housing.

Driving Economic Development

The budget agreement includes $9.9 million in restorations and new funding for tax credits for businesses and economic development projects to boost the state's economy.

Tax relief measures include the phase out of the 18-A utility assessment, reduction of the current 3.25 percent tax rate on manufacturing companies to 2.4 percent by 2018, and a tax credit for businesses that hire veterans.

Funding will be provided to several of the state's cutting-edge, high technology university and private industry partnerships, including $2.5 million for the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and $500,000 for the Center at Excellence at Stony Brook University. In addition, the new start-up centers at the state's Centers of Excellence at the University of Buffalo and the Rochester Institute of Technology will each receive $500,000.

The agreement also provides $1.05 million to the Utica-Rome Region's Griffiss Local Development Corporation, which operates the Griffiss Business and Technology Park, where many technology and innovation based companies are located, including the Air Force Research Laboratory.