FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 31, 2014
Statement from Speaker Silver on 2014-15 Budget Agreement
"Throughout the negotiations leading to this budget agreement, the Assembly Majority put working families first and endeavored to address the myriad challenges facing them today. We are proud that the 2014-15 state budget will make a strong commitment to the education of our children through dramatic investments in school aid and universal pre-K, and much-needed increases in TAP, community college base-aid, and higher education opportunity programs - all historic Assembly initiatives and priorities. Additionally, we take steps to safeguard and strengthen this investment by hitting the pause button on Common Core.
Equally important, this budget keeps our promise to provide working families with tax relief, to create jobs in every region of the state, to alleviate the child-care crisis, to provide long-ago promised cost of living increases to our direct care workers and to honor our longstanding obligation to provide affordable housing, to protect public health and to care for our most vulnerable citizens. In addition, this budget puts New York on the path to fair elections, a goal we have pursued for nearly 30 years.
This is a good agreement and a sound fiscal plan that will keep our state on the path to a better future."
The New York State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2014-15 budget agreement is a $137.9 billion spending plan, that when combined with federal aid for Superstorm Sandy recovery and the Affordable Care Act, totals $142.8 billion. This is an increase of $2.5 billion, or 1.8 percent, over SFY 2013-14. It is an increase in spending of $687 million over the Executive proposal.
Highlights of the SFY 2014-15 budget agreement:
- School Aid - $1.1 billion, the largest investment in more than five years;
- Full Day Universal Pre-Kindergarten and Afterschool Programs - $1.5 billion for five-year implementation and expansion plan;
- Common Core - critical delay in testing scores on permanent records and for use in promotion or placement decisions;
- Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Awards - $25.7 million, the first increase in in 14 years; and
- Community College Base Aid and Opportunity Programs - increased funding to $20.2 million and $4.2 million.
Health & Human Services
- Child Care - $34 million to support safe, reliable, quality care for 4,500 children;
- Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) - two-step restoration for human services workers at state-funded human services agencies;
- New York City Homelessness Program - authorization to creation a rental subsidy program for homeless individuals in New York City;
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - restoration of $26.2 million;
- Safe Harbour for Sexually Exploited Youth- increased funding by $1.4 million;
- Safe Patient Handling - requires establishment in certain health facilities by January 1, 2017;
- Spousal Approval - $10 million program preservation;
- Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund - $7 million in funding;
- Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) Program - $1.2 million to increase the income limit from $29,000 to $50,000 for a two year period;
- Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Program (EPIC) - $4.1 million to expand eligibility;
- Community Services for the Elderly - $5 million in funding; and
- Community Mental Health Services - $38 million to establish 628 supported apartments and 122 enhanced services slots for children.
Jobs & Economic Investment
- Tax Relief - a two-year property tax freeze, homeowners and renters tax credit for New York City residents and the revision of the estate, corporate and mortgage taxes resulting in $770 million in savings for taxpayers;
- College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) - $50 million to fund capital projects; and
- Centers of Excellence - $3.5 million restoration.