Assembly Passes Budget Plan Closing $10 Billion Deficit

Legislature to convene conference committees, continue on path to a balanced, on-time budget
March 22, 2011
Albany – Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel announced that the New York State Assembly passed a budget plan that closes the state’s $10 billion budget deficit, while protecting vital programs and services for children, seniors and hardworking families. Unlike the Governor’s budget, which leaves a $2 billion deficit next year, the Assembly’s plan is balanced.

“The Assembly has passed a fiscally responsible plan that will put New York on a path to economic recovery. We made the necessary cuts in spending, while protecting vital funding for education, health care and job creation programs,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel.

In a bipartisan effort, lawmakers from both houses will immediately convene conference committees to reconcile differences between the Assembly’s and Senate’s budget measures.

“Now the budget process moves forward,” said Assemblywoman Schimel. “I look forward to meeting with my colleagues, ironing out our differences in conference committees, and restoring funding to those who have been especially hit hard by the Governor’s budget as well as the Assembly’s resolution. I look forward to an on-time, balanced budget.”

Key Highlights of the Assembly’s Budget Plan

Rejects Special Education Cost Shifts to School Districts:

Realizing the burden that state education mandates place on local school districts, the Assembly’s budget plan rejects the special education cost shifts proposed by the Governor. This includes the proposal to reclassify state-supported schools for the blind and deaf as approved private schools for students with disabilities. This measure would have shifted the majority of the costs for operating such schools from the state to school districts and property taxpayers.

Invests in Education:

The Assembly’s budget plan restores nearly $467 million in executive budget cuts to education, $363 million over the current fiscal year. This plan provides funding for regents exams and teacher centers as well as maintains funding at current levels for Universal Pre-Kindergarten.

The Assembly’s budget holds the line on SUNY and CUNY tuitions for the 2011-2012 academic year, attempting to ensure that an affordable education remains within reach for all during these hard economic times.

Restores Funding for EPIC:

The Assembly’s longstanding tradition of championing quality health care for seniors continues through support of $34 million in restorations to the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program.

Job Creation Programs:

Under the Assembly’s plan, 50 percent of the Governor’s budget cuts to employment and training programs are restored. In the Assembly’s plan the Excelsior Jobs Program’s tax benefit is extended from five to ten years and bases the job tax credit on the projected income tax revenue for each new job.

Left to Do:

“I will continue to work to mitigate cuts to home health care, libraries and the developmentally disabled, among others. My advocacy for the most vulnerable continues,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel.