Governor Cuomo’s Grand Slam

This week, Governor Cuomo and the Legislative leaders announced the enactment of the fourth consecutive on-time balanced budget. This budget maintains the Governor’s strong record of fiscal discipline, and strategically invests in the growth and stability of New York’s economy.

For four years now, Albany – under the Governor’s leadership – has bucked the trend of budget dysfunction by working together to put New Yorkers first. This year’s budget signifies that when Democratic values are met with real leadership and action, our whole state benefits.

Since taking office, Governor Cuomo has worked aggressively to rein in New York’s skyrocketing property taxes. This year’s budget not only delivers direct relief to homeowners and businesses, but also encourages local governments to take a hard look at ways to consolidate services.

Governor Cuomo has also made it a priority to invest in New York’s future through our education system. The budget’s establishment of universal pre-kindergarten will provide every child throughout New York State with the opportunity for a head start in learning. School aid will increase by over 5 percent, and protections will be put into effect for New York’s charter schools to continue providing families with a choice. It enacts Common Core reform that maintains high standards for our students without penalizing them during its implementation

With reform of our education system, more New Yorkers will be prepared for the workforce, a workforce that Governor Cuomo is committed to building. This budget will not only make it easier to start and grow a business, but will invest directly into job creation projects throughout the state.

And all New Yorkers will reap the benefits of greater funding for the environment. It dedicated $162 million to the State Environmental Protection Fund that will allow the state to protect our environment. The budget also expands opportunities for New Yorkers to take advantage of outdoor recreation through targeted investment for new projects within New York’s over 380,000 acres of public land.

The budget process also produced a package of ethics legislation that imposes tough new penalties for public corruption. It reduces the influence of money in elections by providing public funding for political campaigns on a pilot basis beginning with the 2014 Comptroller’s race. The ethics bills also institutes new disclosure requirements for political donations and outside clients, and creates an independent enforcement mechanism at the Board of Elections.

This historic budget is a tremendous accomplishment, providing our state’s businesses, communities and residents with the opportunity to grow within a better, new New York.