The Assembly and Senate each approved their one-house budget resolutions last week, setting the state for budget conference committees to begin meeting this week to hash out a state budget.
Highlights of the Assembly’s $143.4 billion spending plan include:
– $213 million in additional spending above the Executive Budget proposal;
– an additional $4 billion in education funding over the next four years;
– authorizing New York City to impose a personal income tax surcharge to fund Universal Pre-K (UPK) and after-school programs;
– $25 million to fund the DREAM Act, which will allow undocumented immigrants to access state-funded college tuition assistance programs;
– a circuit breaker personal income tax credit, costing $1.1 billion over 3 years;
– a system of taxpayer-financed political campaigns;
– elimination of the 18-a energy surcharge on residential customers; and
– the legalization of medical marijuana.
In the Senate, where the Majority Coalition is made up of 29 Republicans, 5 members of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) and 1 Democrat, the one-house budget resolution was not approved until early Friday morning.
Highlights of the Senate’s spending plan include:
– enacting the “Freeze Plus” property tax relief program, which will provide additional state aid to local governments that adhere to the 2% property tax cap;
– provides $540 million to fund UPK and after-school programs;
– modifying the Governor’s proposed corporate and bank tax reforms
– modifying the Governor’s proposed campaign finance reforms (though it is unclear exactly how they plan to do so);
– legalizing mixed martial arts; and
– rejecting Gov. Cuomo’s plan to provide college education to some prison inmates.
With each house advancing its one-house spending plan, the next step in the budget process – budget conference committees – are expected to begin meeting later today.