Assembly’s Budget Plan Closes $9.2 Billion Budget Deficit

Schimel & Assembly colleagues reject $1 billion in new taxes and fees
March 26, 2010
Albany – Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel announced that the New York State Assembly recently passed a budget plan that puts New York on a path to fiscal recovery, and closes one of the largest budget gaps ($9.2 billion deficit) in state history. The Assembly’s budget plan rejects $1 billion in new taxes and fees proposed by the Governor and makes realistic and critical funding restorations that New Yorkers need.

“In these tough times we need to be careful with every fiscal choice we make. The Assembly has put forth a bold budget that makes the necessary cuts in spending, while protecting vital services and programs for working families. I urge the Senate and Governor to work with the Assembly on this plan so we can quickly arrive at a final budget,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel.

Key Highlights of the Assembly’s Budget Plan:

Education:

The Assembly’s budget plan protects local taxpayers with a $600 million restoration to school aid, rejecting the largest school aid cut ($1.4 billion) by any Governor in New York State’s history. Realizing the burden that state education mandates place on local school districts, the Assembly rejected the Governor's proposal to shift 100% of the costs associated with pre-school special education to school districts. The Assembly also restores SUNY and CUNY community college base aid to its prior level and rejects the Governor’s $75 cut to each TAP award recipient.

Health Care:

Under the Assembly’s plan, proposed cuts to nursing homes, hospitals, and the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage program (EPIC) are restored. Additionally, this plan allows more low and middle-income seniors with EPIC to qualify for Medicare Part D premium assistance. It also cracks down on Medicaid fraud, capturing $300 million in increased savings, and reduces other Medicaid and health spending by an additional $700 million. The Assembly proposal reinstitutes the requirement that health insurance companies may not increase premiums on certain plans without prior approval from the State Insurance Department.

Environment:

The Assembly’s plan prevents the closure of 91 state parks and historic sites by restoring $11.25 million of the Governor’s $15 million cut so our families can continue to enjoy all the healthy, low-cost outdoor activities that these beautiful sites have to offer. Funding for land acquisition in the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) was also restored by the Assembly.

Budget Reform:

The Assembly’s plan proposes major budget reforms based on the recommendations of Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch, the formation of a Review Board and the imposition of strict time periods to address unanticipated revenue shortfalls.