Cuomo Budget Proposal Holds Down Spending, Makes Many Promises

Jan 21, 2014

Gov Cuomo laid out his budget proposal Tuesday, starting the negotiation process with Assembly and Senate.
Gov Cuomo laid out his budget proposal Tuesday, starting the negotiation process with Assembly and Senate.
Credit NCPR.org

  Property owners and businesses, schools and hospitals, local governments and law enforcement – all were addressed with specific programs in Andrew Cuomo’s latest budget proposal.  

The Governor Tuesday promised education aid that would boost school funding almost 8% over two years.  It also fully funds full-day Pre-K.  Cuomo plans a jobs and economy program with upstate in mind.

“Mohawk valley we’re investing $180 million in Nano-Utica.  Finger Lakes-Rochester we’re investing $40 million in the Eastman Business Park.  In Central New York, $30 million for the Onondaga Lake economic revitalization area, which is a very ambitious and exciting project.”

Mayor Stephanie Miner says the budget holds steady aid to the city at 71 (M) million dollars.  She also says the governor pledged to help Syracuse with specific needs, while making smart investments in infrastructure and education.  Cuomo acknowledged a lot of wish-list programs that might make legislative agreement on the 137 (B) billion dollar plan more difficult. 

One of the most far-reaching aspects of Governor Cuomo’s budget plan was the support he wants to give to full-day Pre-K statewide.  The commitment he wants the state to make for early education would total $1.5 billion over five years.

“All the educators will tell you this is the single most advantageous reform that a state can make, that the younger you get children into school, the more open and accessible their brain, the more thy can take in earlier.”

The governor also reiterated plans to try and put a borrowing proposition on November’s ballot for an additional $1.9 Billion for school infrastructure needs. 

SOME PRAISE, SOME CRITICISM THAT WILL FUEL 2 MONTHS OF DEBATE

Some education advocates say the proposals don’t address inequalities in schools.  Meanwhile business groups generally praised plans for reduced and even zero-tax programs for new and expanding businesses.  The state’s Business Council anticipates they could create 14-thousand new jobs in five years.  Civic groups lauded the inclusion of public financing of elections that was part of the budget proposal.  The legislature will now consider changes, trying to meet the April First budget deadline.