New York State Budget

Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his joint State of the State and budget message, proposing a $141.6 billion spending plan that in part sets up a show down with teachers and education advocates.

The governor wants 100 more charter schools and an overhaul of teacher evaluations, which he says are “baloney,” because virtually all teachers are rated as adequate.

“98 percent of the teachers rated effective,” Cuomo said. “Who are we kidding, my friends?”

The New York state Capitol
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

The New York State Legislature convened last week for its six-month session. Area lawmakers have varying hopes and expectations for 2015.

Another session is under way, but off to a slow start resulting from Governor Andrew Cuomo's decision to move the State of the State address back two weeks following the death of his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

  When Governor Andrew Cuomo gives his budget address on Wednesday, the state will begin the year with a $5 billion dollar surplus, a big change after years of budget deficits.

When Cuomo first came into office, the state was facing a $10 billion budget gap. Now, in 2015 the state has a $5 billion surplus, the largest since the 1940s.  The money is a one time windfall from various bank settlements, over charges of improprieties during the financial crisis.

Tax Credits/flickr

  Lawmakers returning to Albany in January are expected to focus on financial matters such as how to spend New York's $5 billion bank settlements windfall.  

The Assembly is controlled by downstate Democrats, while upstate and Long Island Republicans dominate the Senate.

Ongoing stalemates are likely to continue on social issues such as abortion rights, campaign finance reform and raising the minimum wage.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A Group lobbying to 'Rebuild NY Now' with state windfall funds brought its campaign to Albany Monday.  Rebuild NY Now is a coalition with a mission: to raise public awareness about the issues impacting New York State's infrastructure, with its eye on $5 billion - described as "unexpected cash" - a “windfall” of revenue from recent settlements against overseas banks to pay for infrastructure upgrades.

New York state agencies racked up more than $316 million in overtime in the first six months of 2014, continuing a recent trend of sharply higher overtime costs for taxpayers.

The startling numbers come from a mid-year report issued Tuesday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who says the increase is troubling and should be addressed.  Spending has skyrocketed $22 million over the same period in 2013.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders are touting the virtues of the newly enacted state budget, but the spending plan has its share of critics.

Lawmakers In Hurry To Beat Budget Clock

Mar 31, 2014

Lawmakers hurried to complete work on the state budget before the midnight deadline, but the spending plan is not without some controversy.


Once the state's political leaders got past the congratulatory "atta-boys" and backslapping on their most recent effort to reform Albany, the public was left to dig through the details of the legislative agreement.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have finalized the details on a $138 billion dollar state budget and say they are on track to meet the April 1 deadline. The budget includes a multi step plan that could  lower property taxes, $340 million dollars for schools to start pre-K programs, and a limited test program for public campaign financing.

No Details, But Budget Deal Expected Soon

Mar 27, 2014
New York State Capitol
alh1/flickr

Legislative leaders in Albany say they expect to have a deal on the state budget by the end of the day, but are revealing no details.

New York State lawmakers say it’s likely the state budget will include a moratorium on the effects of school exams administered in connection with the controversial Common Core learning standards.

New York Lawmakers Closer To Budget Agreement

Mar 25, 2014
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York legislative leaders say they are working together and are close to a budget agreement, after a blowup that left the Senate and Assembly leaders negotiating separately with Governor Andrew Cuomo.

flickr.com

The budget being negotiated in Albany will establish not only how much state aid school districts will receive, but it also could affect the age many kids start going to school, when they begin standardized tests and even influence whether they go to public or private school.

Education issues are prominent this budget season in Albany. This includes the pre-kindergarten debate prompted by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and a tax credit advocated this week by Cardinal Timothy Dolan that could boost Catholic school attendance.

AP File Photo

Budget negotiations are expected to get serious at the New York State Capitol this week, with the spending plan due at the end of the month.

The Senate and Assembly are due to put out their one house budget resolutions on Wednesday, the first step toward reaching a final deal with Governor Andrew Cuomo later this month.

There are a number of unresolved issues, including how to pay for and structure a plan to provide universal pre-kindergarten to New York’s four-year-olds. A multi-step plan proposed by Governor Cuomo to freeze property taxes has faced skepticism.   

Karen DeWitt

  The deadline for the state budget is approaching, and education issues are taking center stage. One day before massive rallies for universal pre-K and charter schools, other advocates say they’ve gathered evidence for potentially another lawsuit for more state aid for schools.

The Alliance for Quality Education has been touring schools around the state to document what they say is erosion in districts in economically depressed areas.

NYS Lawmakers To Hold Budget Meeting In Rockland

Feb 20, 2014
Tax Credits/flickr

Some New York state lawmakers are hosting their annual state budget meeting in Rockland County Thursday afternoon.

Blair Horner: The Budget Battle Begins

Jan 20, 2014

The New York State budget fight begins this week with the governor offering his budget plan.  The governor’s budget will be massive – probably $135 billion of spending.  Over 95 percent of it will become law without much fuss.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is on a statewide tour to promote the newly passed state budget, saying it shows that the state is functional again. But not everyone is completely convinced.
 
Governor Cuomo has been touring major upstate regions, promoting the passage of the third on time or early budget in a row. In Buffalo, he held up a hockey puck as a prop, comparing the achievement to hockey’s “hat trick”.

Blair Horner: The Budget Wraps Up

Apr 1, 2013

The 2013-2014 state budget was approved last week, marking the third on-time budget in a row.  Three on-time budgets haven’t occurred in a generation, so there was a lot of back-slapping and “at-a-boys” at the Capitol.

Tim Kremer, executive director of New York State School Boards Association
NYSSBA

Education is always one of the main ingredients of the New York State Budget and this year is no exception. The New York State School Boards Association has looked over the spending plan and has found some good work, and a few areas in need of Improvement. Tim Kremer is the executive director of the New York State School Boards Association. He spoke today with WAMC’s Brian Shields.

Flickr/wadester16

The state legislature is almost finished voting on a $141.3b state budget. Final passage is occurring one week past lawmakers’ s self imposed deadline, but three days before  the spending plan was due to be finished.

This is the first state budget for freshman New York State Senator Terry Gipson of the 41st district in the Hudson Valley. The Dutchess County democrat spoke to WAMC’s Brian Shields today on the pros and cons of the budget process. 

NY Senate approved budget

Mar 27, 2013
..::WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas::..

After an all night session, the New York State senate approved a $136 billion budget.

The Assembly is planning to vote on the budget tomorrow and if it is passed, it will be the third time in a row the state has met its deadline.

The budget would raise the minimum wage to $9 over three years and offers a $350 rebate to families with children. It includes a tax credit to businesses that pay the new minimum wage and will also increase school aid by about $1 billion.

The New York State Senate finished its work on the state budget in an overnight session at the Capitol.

The governor and legislative leaders decided to abide by the normal procedures and let the budget bills “age” for three days before voting, so that anyone who is interested could read them.  Some of the bills were not printed until Sunday evening, which made them eligible for voting on Wednesday. Senators abided by the letter, if not the spirit of the law.

Courtesy WXXI

After weeks of closed-door negotiations, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders announced late this past Wednesday night that they had reached an agreement on the 2013-2014 state budget.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York legislators will need much of this week to pass the $135 billion budget it negotiated with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

..::WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas::..

Even though state lawmakers announced a budget agreement Wednesday, they spent the day Thursday trying to pin down details and print the bills in time to be through over the weekend.

Flickr/Smarter's Photos

The Speaker of the State Assembly says a portion of New York’s gun control laws, set to take effect April 15th, may be postponed while talks continue on how to amend the provision.

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders are talking about amending the state’s gun control laws to reverse a ban on the sale of 10 bullet magazines. They say the law as written presents a conflict because the 10 round magazines are still allowed at shooting ranges and sporting competitions, but under the impending ban, gun owners would no longer be allowed to buy them in New York for those purposes.

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

Lawmakers originally planned to be passing bills by now, ready to wrap up the state budget and leave on a three week break beginning on Thursday.
 
But, instead of an agreement early in the week, each day lawmakers have found themselves discussing new issues , some of them totally unrelated to the spending plan. Most recently, talks have turned to whether to decriminalize public possession of marijuana in New York City, and walking back a provision of the recently enacted gun control laws.

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