Albany – Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel announced that the New York State Legislature recently passed the 2011-2012 final state budget, which closes a $10 billion deficit and cuts state spending by $3 billion over last year.
“Faced with a multi-billion dollar budget deficit and a $7 billion loss in federal funding, we had to make some very difficult and painful decisions. We worked with Governor Cuomo and the State Senate to ensure that the state’s fiscal burden did not fall disproportionately on working families,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel.
Assemblywoman Schimel and her Assembly colleagues successfully fought to mitigate the executive budget’s drastic cuts to education, healthcare, and other important public services.
Key Highlights of the Final State Budget
Restores Funding To Adelphi NYS Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program
Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel fought to restore funding for the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program, which has provided comprehensive breast cancer services to New Yorkers for the past 30 years.
Ensuring Quality Education
The 2011-2012 final state budget increases education funding by $272 million over the executive budget. The budget maintains funding for Universal Pre-Kindergarten, and includes a two-year appropriation for school aid, which provides an additional $800 million in the 2012-2013 school year. The budget rejects the executive proposal to reclassify 4201 schools for the blind and deaf as approved private schools for students with disabilities, which would have amounted to a $90.8 million cost shift to school districts. The final budget also rejects the Governor’s proposed cost shift for the Summer School Special Education Program. Partial funding restorations were made to SUNY and CUNY to ensure that New York’s public colleges and universities can continue to provide a quality and affordable education.
Creates a Permanent Low-Cost Power Program
Recharge New York, a permanent replacement for the Power for Jobs program, is included in the final state budget. Under this program, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) will provide 910 megawatts of low-cost power to businesses and not-for-profits that commit to job creation and retention and capital investment goals.
Economic Development & Job Creation Programs
The State Legislature established the Excelsior Jobs program last year to boost job creation and provide investment incentives to businesses in strategic industries across the state. The final budget strengthens this program by enhancing tax credits and improving its responsiveness. Also included in the budget is funding for Regional Economic Development Councils across the state, which will help create a region-based approach to allocating $130 million in state funds over two years for economic development. Funding was also restored to employment and job training programs, such as the Displaced Homemaker Program, the Jobs for Youth Program, and the Summer Youth Employment Program.
Preserving Vital Services & Programs for Seniors
The Assembly helped ensure that the final state budget restored the majority of the funding for the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage program (EPIC), which helps seniors on fixed incomes afford their prescription drugs. The final budget also restores funding to senior centers, enriched social adult day centers, and the Nassau Respite Program.