I’m pleased to have voted this afternoon on state budget legislation, making this the second consecutive year in many years that an on-time budget has been adopted. The budget contains many positive provisions for taxpayers, school districts and local governments. We were able to maintain state aid and highway improvement funding to our localities at the same funding level as the previous year. This assistance is necessary due to the refusal to include significant and substantive mandate relief in the budget, mandate relief that I’ve been a staunch supporter of for many years.
I also am pleased that 23 schools in my Assembly District (all of Cattaraugus County and portions of Chautauqua and Allegany counties) will receive an increase of $8.9 million in education aid over last year’s funding – the State will be sending schools in my district a total amount of $225.2 million in operating aid, not including building aid.
Overall, this is a sound, on-time budget passed during the light of day rather than under the cover of night. I commend Governor Cuomo for his willingness to accept and work with me and my Assembly Minority Conference during the budget negotiation process.