Lawmakers are in Albany as the finishing touches are placed on the state's fiscal plan due April 1. There is mixed reaction to the spending package.
The $140 billion budget deal puts forward the state’s largest education allocations to date, including an increase of about $1.1 billion in school aid, $340 million for universal full-day pre-k, and a bond act to modernize classrooms.
A New York State Senator from the Hudson Valley says the 2013-2014 Senate budget resolution approved Monday provides some good news for his district. Democratic State Senator Terry Gipson says the budget resolution contains a few items for which he has been fighting. One is to keep the Beacon Correctional Facility, the state’s only female minimum-security prison, up and running. Gipson says another recommendation included in the resolution is to keep open another facility in Dutchess County, the Red Hook Residential Center, a youth detention facility.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed 2013-2014 budget includes several changes to the Bottle Bill. Various stakeholders have both praise and concern.
Laura Haight is one who testified Monday at a budget hearing in Albany about the proposed changes to the Bottle Bill. Haight is senior environmental associate for the New York Public Interest Research Group, or NYPIRG. She says there are 20 pages of proposed changes, one of which she applauds, and says would be a first for the state.
A number of cancer organization and anti-smoking groups has penned a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, asking him to bolster what they say are lifesaving programs, and not cut them. And, the groups contend, for the first time, the programs appear differently in the governor’s proposed budget.
In the governor’s State-of-the-State address, there was no mention of mandate relief, yet several county executives said they were not expecting to hear much about it then, that it would be during the governor’s budget address where they would expect some details about coping with unfunded mandates. Governor Cuomo did speak to unfunded mandates in his proposed 2013-2014 budget address Tuesday, introducing the topic this way.
Stephen Acquario is the executive director of the New York State Association of Counties, or NYSAC.
In Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed 2013-2014 budget, he recommends closing two prisons in New York. One is in Dutchess County. Governor Cuomo proposed closing two of the least efficient prison facilities in the state. One is Bayview in Manhattan. The other is the Beacon Correctional Facility, a female, minimum-security prison, which he says has a 53-percent vacancy rate.
He said closing the two facilities will impact 273 positions, all of which can be absorbed in the current system.