Do you remember the New York State of 2010? Before Governor Cuomo took office, New York faced a $10 billion deficit due to decades of reckless spending. What’s more, political gridlock meant that budgets weren’t even on-time.
What a difference three years make. The Governor just unveiled his proposed 2014-15 Executive Budget. Today, we bear witness to a new New York, one that has gone from a $10 billion deficit to a $2.2 billion surplus in just three short years. The New York you live in today is more fiscally responsible and now has the resources to build a state that is smarter, cleaner, fairer, safer, and healthier.
So what does this mean for New Yorkers? Below are just a few examples of how Democratic budget leadership can have a positive impact on the lives of New Yorkers.
The proposed budget:
- Holds spending increases below 2 percent for the fourth consecutive year – fiscal discipline that has resulted in a projected $2.2 billion surplus by 2016-17.
- Cuts taxes for New York’s families and businesses by more than $2 billion by 2016-17.
- Increases education aid by $807 million, almost 4 percent, driving an average increase of more than $265/student per year.
- Continues to put our students first by funding a universal pre-K program, expanded after-school programs, rewards for teacher excellence, and a $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act to ensure that all of our children have access to the latest technology needed to compete on the global stage.
- Grows our state’s economy and creates jobs by providing an additional round of funding for the Regional Economic Development Councils and linking them with the START-UP NY program to attract businesses from around the world, delivering on the promise of the “Buffalo Billion,” and making strategic capital investments in Upstate projects.
- Protects our state’s environment by increasing the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), expanding outdoor recreational opportunities, and providing a new round of New York Works capital funding for environmental facilities.
- Helps hospitals, nursing homes and long term care facilities restructure to provide quality community based care by advancing $1.2 billion in capital funding.
- Strengthens our public higher education system to excel both academically and as an economic engine by providing $110 million for a new and expanded round of SUNY2020 and CUNY2020 programs and a new scholarship program for the state’s top high students who agree to study science, technology, engineering and math at SUNY or CUNY and work in New York after graduation.
- Connects the successful NY Youth Works to our community colleges and expand the tax credit program from $6 million to $10 million annually to help encourage more employers to hire inner city youth.
- Provides new economic opportunities and improves services for veterans.
Progress has characterized the last three years in New York State and this budget is an exciting step to build on our success.
Below are some other ways Governor Cuomo’s proposed 2014-15 budget will help New Yorkers.