New York State leaders have agreed upon a fiscal year 2018 spending plan a week after the April 1st deadline.
The $153.1 billion budget increases education aid by $1.1 billion. The budget begins a program to provide free college tuition at public colleges for families making up to $125,000 annually.
The budget increases Medicaid State share funding, extends a tax rate on millionaires, and includes a middle class tax cut, which leaders say will save taxpayers on average $250 next year.
Lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo came to agreements on high-profile issues including "raise the age" criminal justice reform and allowing ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate upstate.
The budget also includes what Governor Cuomo called a “Federal Response Plan.”
The language would allow the state budget director to identify cuts to the state budget depending on cuts at the federal level. A plan would then be given to the Assembly, which would have 90 days to vote on the plan.
If a vote is not taken, the budget cuts would automatically go into effect.
Speaking to reporters Friday night, Cuomo called the budget the most “ambitious” plan agreed upon by the state legislature.
“Because we had to. Because we’re facing the greatest challenges that we’ve faced. So it was probably the hardest plan to complete but it’s also the best work that we’ve done as a state government. And I am proud of it. And at this time when people are floundering and states are floundering and people are wondering which way to go, I say once again, ‘look to the state of New York. This plan points the right direction,’” said Cuomo.