For more information on the Assembly’s budget proposal click here. For a comparison of the Assembly’s vs. the Governor’s school aid proposals, click here.
View Points 2001 Banner

August, 2001  

From the New York State Assembly  Black Square  Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Herman D. Farrell, Jr., Chair, Ways and Means Committee

Legislature passes bare bones budget to provide stability for New York

Assembly calls on Governor to negotiate supplemental budget to strengthen schools, keep health care affordable and create jobs

The Governor insists on a budget that cuts education aid and health care, and fails to address the state’s troubled economy –– resulting in an atmosphere of crisis for schools and uncertainty for all New Yorkers.

The Executive refuses to admit that we have over $4 billion of surplus and reserves available to meet New York’s needs –– and still be protected against a severe economic downturn.

To provide stability, the state Legislature was forced to take the unprecedented step of passing a bare bones budget that puts behind us budget items where we agree on at least a minimum level of funding. Now we must turn our attention to our unfinished agenda — outlined in the Assembly budget resolution passed in March — that strengthens schools, keeps quality health care affordable, and creates jobs where they’re needed most.

Fight far from over — Governor must participate

The bare bones budget is the best chance New York has for getting the Governor to the negotiating table to supplement this base funding with initiatives the Assembly passed back in March.

Assembly’s landmark 2-year education plan vital part of supplemental budget talks

The bare bones budget includes the Governor’s school aid numbers, which represents a $1.1 billion cut in what our schools would receive under current law.

This doesn’t come close to what our schools need to reduce class size, enroll more children in pre-K, or improve teacher training. But as schools prepare to open their doors to millions of children in the fall, this bare bones budget gives them the minimum amount of state aid they’ll need to get by and eliminates the uncertainty they had in the absence of any state budget.

But our children and working families deserve better. In our efforts to pass a supplemental budget, we will pursue the Assembly’s groundbreaking $3.4 billion, 2-year school aid plan that reforms the school aid formula and gives schools the flexibility to plan ahead for the first time.

The Assembly’s school aid plan, which was part of our budget resolution passed in March, restores the Governor’s $1.1 billion cut in state aid that is called for under current law, and adds $200 million more. It also addresses the Supreme Court decision that struck down New York’s school aid formula as unconstitutional.

The Assembly plan reforms and simplifies the school aid formula so that schools get the resources they need to plan over the long term, and assures equity and fairness for high-need school districts.

Our plan will help schools invest in education programs like the Assembly’s LADDER plan that has been helping reduce class size, update computer technology, and establish more pre-k and kindergarten programs since 1998.

The Governor originally agreed to a four-year phase-in of LADDER, but has repeatedly tried to back out of this commitment –– cutting LADDER by $660 million this year.

Helping nursing homes provide enough quality care

The bare bones budget includes the Governor’s Medicaid funding levels, which the Legislature believes were overestimated by the Executive. But the bare bones budget rejects the Executive’s programmatic cuts in health care. This will keep nursing homes afloat, but nursing home residents and staff deserve better.

That’s why we will continue working for more funding in the supplemental budget to assure quality health care for the elderly and disabled, as we proposed in the Assembly budget resolution.

The Assembly will fight for needed funding to help hospitals recruit and train experienced health care workers; address home health care workforce issues; expand eligibility for children’s health insurance, family planning services and prenatal care services; and expand AIDS education, outreach and support programs.

Creating jobs and cutting taxes

The Governor’s one-size-fits-all approach to economic development has failed to capitalize on the longest national economic expansion in history. New York needs a smarter economic development strategy that takes into account our diverse regional economies.

A key component in supplemental budget negotiations will be the Assembly’s $470 million Jobs Agenda 2001 proposal, an aggressive 7-point plan that will draw on our regional strengths and promote a high-tech oriented economy. In addition, the Assembly will continue fighting for our $519 million tax cut plan for working families and businesses, which was also part of our budget resolution passed in March.

It’s up to the Governor.

Call Governor Pataki and tell him
to work with the Legislature on
a supplemental budget
that makes New York a better
place to live and work.


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