BRONX, N.Y. Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner (D-Bronx, 77th AD) said the final state 2015-16 budget provides key opportunities for the Bronx by offering much-needed support for families and seniors. It will bolster the local economy through key educational, economic and health care investments while ensuring that housing remains affordable.
This years budget focuses directly on helping to guide all Bronx families towards success. It is truly a win-win when we are able to not only better the community today, as well as improve opportunities for future generations, said Assemblywoman Joyner. The SFY 2015-2016 Budget ensures that all students and families can obtain a quality, yet affordable, education as well as secure future employment opportunities through local economic investments. Not only will this budget help keep housing affordable and help those families down on their luck in homeless shelters, it also maintains essential Medicaid and community health efforts to help ensure that all low income New Yorkers can obtain and continue their treatments without worry a major concern for families and seniors in the 77th Assembly District.
The state budget puts families first by investing in our schools. Assemblywoman Joyner helped to secure a $505.1 million increase in education aid over the last year to be directed to the states struggling school districts. The funding will be directed to school districts that need it most, by adding:
- $30 million increase in Pre-Kindergarten funding while protecting last years Pre-K investment in New York City. This includes an expansion of the Universal Pre-K Program to include 3-year olds;
- $75 million in grants for struggling schools; and
- $20 million in grants, including libraries, teacher centers and bilingual education.
For higher education, the enacted budget provides a 20% increase in funding for educational Opportunity Programs over last year. The budget enhances community college base aid, which can reduce financial hurdles for students and dedicates $1.4 million to allow disabled students access to the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). The overall budget allocates:
- $26.8 million for Educational Opportunity Program (EOP); and
- $23.3 million for Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK).
The budget will also keep affordable housing in the Bronx. Approximately $415.6 million is promised to improving and maintaining housing and community development programs in New York. Also, this years budget adds funds to programs specifically focused on homeless service and programs over the next few years. This plan includes:
- $100 million for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) capital repairs while also requiring the New York StateDivision of Housing and Community Renewal and NYCHA to develop a plan to disclose how funds will be used;
- $440 million for homeless services and programs over the next four years;
- $220 million to provide rental subsidies for domestic violence victims, seniors and families struggling to afford rent;
- $124.5 million to provide services to individuals to live independently in supportive housing outside of the homeless shelter system;
- $40 million for the Living in Communities (LINC) program, which provides rental subsidies for working families in shelters; and
- $15 million for a new pilot program in New York City focused on preventing evictions by increasing housing allowances.
The 2015-2016 SFY Budget will also provide funding restorations to programs geared towards jump-starting economic development by helping the Bronx community through job retention and creation, including $1 million to the Bronx Overall Development Corporation and $2 million for the Bronx Childrens Museum.
The enacted budget promises more than $86.1 million in funding for Medicaid initiatives and directly funds dozens of community health programs. It will ensure prescription drug assistance that can help lower income Bronxites to obtain the treatment they need. Also, the final budget restores funding to continue Medicaid support for working, and low-income families and seniors who require costly long term care.
For more information, please contact Jamie Gilkey at (518) 455-5671 or Mike Giardina at (718) 538-2000.