Assembly releases $142 billion spending plan that closes $1.4 billion budget gapby jmaloni
Proposal provides critical funding for local governments, recovery efforts, and essential services for the most vulnerable
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and ways and means committee Chairman Herman D. Farrell Jr. announced Monday the Assembly's 2013-14 budget proposal of nearly $142 billion, which closes an estimated $1.4 billion budget gap, increases aid to struggling municipalities statewide, helps communities rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and makes critical restorations to social services programs and to providers of services to individuals with disabilities.
The Assembly budget proposal of $141.96 billion is a 4.7 percent increase in all funds spending from the state fiscal year 2012-13 level. Spending growth in all funds is largely due to the federal aid for clean-up and recovery following "Superstorm" Sandy, as well as the projection of additional Medicaid funds for the implementation of Affordable Care Act. Absent these funds disbursements, year-to-year growth in all funds spending would be nearly flat at $135.8 million.
The Assembly proposes general fund spending of $61.5 billion in SFY 2013-14. This is an increase of $2.2 billion, or 3.7 percent, over SFY 2012-13. The proposed spending is $661 million higher than the executive budget proposal.
"After years of careful sacrifice, New York's economy is slowly growing. Keeping with the responsible decision-making that has brought us this far, the Assembly's proposed budget will close an estimated $1.4 billion budget gap while establishing financial reserves," Silver said. "Frugal over three years, this budget provides for a prosperous year for learning, rebuilding and commerce. It also makes crucial investments in a social safety net that protects indiscriminately. I commend my colleagues on their hard work and dedication to this proposal and to a thriving Empire State."
The Assembly plan closes the estimated $1.4 billion general fund budget gap for SFY 2013-14 in a prudent and responsible manner. These actions are comprised of $1 billion in spending reductions and $331 million in tax extenders.
"Once again, we propose a responsible, sound budget with critical investments in social services, recovery efforts, and an education system that supports all from childhood through college," Farrell said. "Consistent with the governor's proposal, we put forth a funding plan that will close a budget gap while saving for the future. From undocumented youth to successful business owners, this budget provides for a prosperous future for all New Yorkers."
Critical Relief for New York's Cities, Towns and Villages
The Assembly's budget proposal calls for more than $660 million over three years in increased funding, above the executive's budget, for programs to help the state's financially struggling local governments. The aid and incentives for municipalities program would increase by more than $220 million above the executive's budget. The first funding boost to AIM in five years, it would restore $140 million to New York City, and provide an 11 percent increase, totaling $80 million, for the state's other cities, towns and villages.
Over two years, $120 million would be allocated to accelerate the state's takeover of local Medicaid growth. This would take one full year off of the three-year state takeover plan established in SFY 2012-13. In addition, the consolidated local street and highway improvement program, or CHIPS, would receive an increase of $15 million.
Sandy Recovery Efforts
On top of the approximately $30 billion in federal funding allocated to New York for Sandy recovery efforts, the Assembly proposal includes an additional $200 million in capital support for the New York Rebuild, Overcome, and Re-open program. This program would provide resources to help restore areas impacted by Sandy through:
emergency preparedness upgrades;
capital improvements to public housing;
shoreline repair and flood mitigation;
restoration of local facilities and attractions;
promotion of economic redevelopment; and
grants to small businesses, multiple dwellings, and service providers for unreimbursed costs.
The proposal includes the extension of financial incentives for businesses that remain in or relocate to New York City, including those in Lower Manhattan impacted by the World Trade Center terrorist attacks of 2001. The tax breaks are designed to encourage businesses to generate economic activity in the city and help get New Yorkers back to work following Sandy.
The Assembly would also provide relief to employers who experience an increase in unemployment insurance costs as a result of Sandy.
Preserving Safety Net Programs and Services for the Most Vulnerable Citizens
The Assembly restores $28.7 million in temporary assistance for needy families funding and $11 million in funds for child care subsidies. It restores $4.66 million in services for children and families, as well as $1.29 million for the youth development and delinquency program and special delinquency prevention program and $264,000 for the runaway and homeless youth program. To maintain the right for spousal refusal in New York state, $34.3 million has been restored.
Critical funding in the amount of $120 million would be restored to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities for services provided by nonprofit organizations that serve individuals with developmental disabilities.
The programs and services provided through nonprofits under the auspices of OPWDD help improve the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities. These programs help to develop home, personal, behavioral, recreational and social skills to ensure greater independence in their day-to-day lives. In order to protect these services, the Assembly proposes to restore $120 million to mitigate the governor's proposed 6 percent rate reduction to nonprofit providers.
Additionally, the Assembly restores $20 million to reinstate the one-year notification requirement for closure and consolidation of mental health facilities.
Rebuilding the Ladder to Economic Security
To improve the infrastructure on our SUNY and CUNY campuses and to create jobs, the Assembly provides $55 million for a third round of SUNY 2020 challenge grants and $161 million to create and fund a New York CUNY 2020 program.
The Assembly budget proposal allocates $100 million to support various job initiatives. These programs include a fourth round of RESTORE NY Communities Initiative grants, business and community development support, advanced manufacturing and certification assistance, education and workforce training for disadvantaged and adult residents, and educational practices related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the classroom.
The Assembly proposal provides:
$1 million restoration for College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering's Institute for nanoelectronics discovery exploration (INDEX) program;
$1.25 million for the new advanced manufacturing career opportunity revolving loan fund;
$750,000 for agricultural industry competitiveness assistance; and
$2.1 million in military base retention funding to support the Griffiss Local Development Corp.
Additionally, the Assembly proposes assistance for small businesses by dedicating $12.5 million for the small business revolving loan fund and $500,000 for small business innovation research (SBIR) outreach and technical assistance. It will also restore an additional $365,000 to support the minority and women-owned business (MWBE) development and lending program.
Reforms are included that would make the unemployment insurance fund solvent, and, if implemented, would save employers more than $450 million annually while increasing the weekly unemployment benefit. The shared work program would be expanded to aid struggling businesses that are contemplating layoffs to keep their doors open.
Strengthening New York's Future by Investing in Education
The school aid allocation is $21.1 billion, an increase of $834 million in formula aid over school year 2012-13. The proposal is an increase of $334 million over the executive budget proposal for SY 2013-14. As part of the aid increase, $208 million is included for foundation aid, $25 million for high tax aid and $100 million for gap elimination adjustment.
The Assembly restores $240 million in school aid to New York City and other districts, which did not meet the Jan. 17 deadline for annual professional performance review plans.
The full $25 million for the pre-kindergarten grant, which was recommended by the governor, has been preserved and the program modified to include additional half-day slots.
The Assembly proposes $975 million for the tuition assistance program (TAP), an increase of $25 million over the executive proposal. The increase in funding would be dedicated for the implementation of the New York State Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.
Additional funding is included for SUNY and CUNY community colleges. The plan includes an additional $150 per full-time equivalent student to raise the total community college base aid to $2,422 per FTE. The proposal also includes the restoration of more than $1.5 million for SUNY and CUNY child care centers, which provide vital assistance to parents who attend college.
Higher education opportunity programs would be increased by $3.7 million.
The Assembly proposal includes $106 million in capital funds for CUNY and an additional $50 million for SUNY Stonybrook Health Science Center, SUNY Downstate Health Science Center and SUNY Upstate Health Science Center.