Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced that the Assembly passed a budget plan that puts New York families first and closes the deficit by making $4.3 billion in balanced cuts and other actions.
“Suffolk families will benefit from the Assembly’s comprehensive budget plan – one that makes necessary cuts to resolve the $9.2 billion budget deficit, rejects $1 billion in proposed taxes and fees and makes realistic and critical funding restorations that New Yorkers need,” Assemblyman Ramos said.
The Assembly’s plan restores funding to keep parks open. Locally, Brentwood Park and Hecksher Park – which were on the chopping block – will remain open, and the July 4 Fireworks at Jones Beach will continue.
“These parks provide affordable recreation for working families, and they provide opportunities to teach our children about community, sportsmanship and the great outdoors. During these tough economic times people rely on the park for free recreational activities,” said Assemblyman Ramos. “Our plan keeps the parks open, which will improve the quality of life in Suffolk.”
In addition, the Assembly’s plan rejects the largest school aid cut – $1.4 billion – proposed in New York history. The budget proposal restores $600 million to education as well. Suffolk taxpayers will also see relief thanks to the restoration of community college base aid which helps keep tuition low and protects property taxpayer from high taxes. We also restore the $75 reduction for Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) awards, maintain the maximum TAP awards for two-year programs and deny the reduction of TAP awards for married students.
“We cannot afford to cripple education with cuts, no matter how poorly the economy’s doing,” Assemblyman Ramos said. “Our proposal ensures that children receive an education that will help them excel and be presented with opportunities to succeed in life.”
Ramos also says that the Assembly’s budget proposal also incorporates major budget reforms based on the recommendations of Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch, including the five-year elimination of the structural deficit by moving to a GAAP balanced budget, the formation of the Review Board and the imposition of strict time periods to address unanticipated revenue shortfalls.
“The Assembly’s budget proposal is realistic, and it closes one of the largest budget gaps in state history while supporting working families,” Assemblyman Ramos said. “I will continue to work to quickly arrive at a final budget that puts people before politics, keeping families first.”