Assemblyman Pat Burke (D-Buffalo) announced that the Assembly budget proposal boosts education spending, protects a critical state funding source for town and village governments and finances infrastructure projects across the state.
“Our budget proposal supports hardworking Western New York families, investing in programs and initiatives that expand opportunity and help ensure a brighter future for our region and state,” said Burke. “I’ll work with my colleagues to craft a final budget that gives our communities their fair share of funding, from schools to streets and bridges.”
To ensure every New York student has the tools they need to thrive, the Assembly budget proposal provides a total of $28.4 billion in education funding, an increase of $1.6 billion – or 6 percent – over the previous year and $644 million more than the executive proposal. Foundation Aid would be increased by $1.16 billion for the 2019-20 school year for a total of $18.9 billion, which is $823 million more than the executive proposal.
Recognizing the importance of keeping school taxes affordable for middle-class families in Western NY, the Assembly’s proposal rejects the executive budget proposal limiting STAR growth and lowering the exemption income-eligibility level. This will ensure families can continue to afford to stay in their homes.
In support of state’s higher education institutions, the Assembly plan provides SUNY $12.8 million in increased operating support and $12.1 million for community college base aid, bringing the total rate to $2,947 per full-time equivalent (FTE) student. This will help even more students achieve their college dreams and secure good-paying jobs after school, noted Burke.
The Assembly proposal restores the executive’s $59 million proposed cut in funding to Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM), bringing total AIM support to $715 million. Without this funding, municipalities could be forced to cut essential services or raise local taxes. If enacted, the governor’s AIM cuts would completely eliminate this funding for 54 of the 57 towns and villages in Western New York.
The Assembly budget proposal also provides $438.1 million for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs) and $39.7 million for the Marchiselli Program to help local governments repair and replace aging roads and bridges. To address the large number of potholes that have appeared in local roads during this winter, the Assembly’s proposal includes an additional $65 million in CHIPs funding for Extreme Winter Recovery. Additionally, the Assembly’s proposal also provides $226.5 million for upstate transit systems, an $8.8 million increase over the executive proposal.