Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton Advances State Budget That Protects Working Families
March 31, 2009
Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-Tompkins/Cortland) announced the Assembly will begin passage of the 2009- 2010 state budget on March 31. Budget bills have been introduced and are currently aging on legislators’ desks. Noting the extraordinary economic challenges facing the nation, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton said the $132 billion spending plan closes a projected $17.65 billion gap by raising $5.2 billion in revenue, implementing $5.1 billion in necessary spending cuts, utilizing $1.1 billion in non-recurring revenues and maximizing $6.2 billion in federal stimulus dollars. “This budget balances the need to take radical action to rescue the state’s fiscal woes. It cuts over $5 billion, while preventing the deepest cuts to our schools and health care system and protecting our most vulnerable residents – our kids, seniors and the sick.”, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton said. Restoring $1.1 billion to school districts The 2009-2010 state budget continues the Assembly’s commitment to providing a quality education for New York State’s children despite tough economic times. The budget stabilizes aid to schools and reduces the burden on taxpayers by restoring $1.1 billion to school districts. “While, of course, I wish we could have done more for education in the budget, it could have been a total disaster for schools, students and taxpayers,” Assemblywomen Barbara Lifton said. “Even during the worst economic downturn in decades, we maintained our strong commitment to educating our children and providing them with the tools and skills they will need to compete successfully for the jobs of the 21st century.” The budget lifts the freeze on reimbursable expense-based aids, including transportation, building aid and BOCES – while ensuring school districts have access to the funds they need. Overall, schools will benefit by an estimated increase of $403 million over the 2008-2009 school year. Foundation aid for the 2009-2010 school year will remain at current levels. The Assembly continues its historic commitment to foundation aid by phasing in full funding over three years, a year earlier than the executive’s proposal, starting in 2011-2012. The budget also uses federal funds to help local school districts over the next two years, including:
- $906 million in Title 1 funds, which is financial assistance for schools with high percentages of disadvantaged children, to help ensure all children meet the state’s academic standards; and
- $794 million under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), ensuring that mandatory early intervention, special education and related services are provided to children with disabilities.
- $17.3 million for Operation IMPACT, which coordinates state, federal and local law enforcement in cities across New York;
- $21 million in federal assistance to support law enforcement, drug courts, drug treatment programs and alternatives to incarceration initiatives (ATI) in conjunction with enactment of Rockefeller Drug Law reform.