New York Gov. David Paterson released a budget proposal Tuesday that seeks a 5 percent cut in school aid, as well as $1 billion in new taxes and fees.

The $134 billion budget also addresses a $7.4 billion deficit. In addition to a $1.1 billion cut in school aid, Paterson wants $1 billion cut from health care spending, much of which goes to hospitals and nursing homes.

He is also proposing another reduction in spending on higher education that would cut $95 million from four-year colleges operated by the State University of New York and $47.7 million from the City University of New York.

He would also allow SUNY and CUNY to set their own regular tuition increases, which could vary by campus, without legislative approval. And public and private college students would see a $75 cut in their Tuition Assistance Program financial aid.

New York City would lose $469 million in school aid, nearly $302 million in local government assistance, $53 million in funding for social services and nearly $4 million for transportation.

“The mistakes of the past — squandering surpluses, papering over deficits, relying on irresponsible fiscal gimmicks to finance unsustainable spending increases — have led us to a financial breaking point,” Paterson said. “There are no more easy answers.”

The Legislature is expected to strongly oppose the measures, in part because lawmakers believe that health cuts will harm community hospital care and that school aid cuts are likely to prompt school boards to raise local property taxes and cut programs.

The Legislature traditionally adds 1 percent to 2 percent to the state budget, but few executive proposals have cut aid to levels proposed by Paterson. He and the lawmakers will try to agree on a budget by the April 1 start of the fiscal year.

Also among Paterson’s proposals is extending the income tax benefits of filing as a married couple to same-sex couples married in states where gay marriage is legal.

New taxes include a $1 increase in the tax on a pack of cigarettes, restoring New York as the state with the highest tax on cigarettes. Paterson said the revenue will be dedicated to health care. It would raise the state tax to $3.75 per pack…

Read article here

You may also like

State’s Growing Budget Hole Threatens NYC Jobs and Aid as Congress Takes a Holiday

“The biggest problem for the state is the enormous, recurring structural budget gap starting next year and into the future,” said E.J. McMahon of the conservative-leaning Empire Center. “Cuomo clearly hopes that starting in 2021, (Democratic presidential candidate Joseph) Biden and a Democratic Congress will provide states and local government a couple of year’s worth of added stimulus. Read More

How Andrew Cuomo became ‘maybe the most powerful governor’ in U.S.

Ed McKinley ALBANY — When the New York Constitution was reorganized nearly 100 years ago to give the governor more power over the budget process,  noted there was a risk of making “the governor a czar." M Read More

Study disputes Cuomo on Trump tax package; experts say it’s complicated

Michael Gormley ALBANY — A new study by a conservative think tank says President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law gave most New Yorkers a tax cut, even as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo insists on repealing the measure because he says it will cost New Yo Read More

Empire Center sues Department of Health over nursing home records

Johan Sheridan ALBANY, N.Y. () — The Empire Center filed a  against the state Department of Health on Friday. “This case isn’t about assigning blame or embarrassing political leaders,” said Bill Hammond, the Empire Center’s Read More

Good news: That New York pork isn’t going out the door after all

The Empire Center first reported Tuesday that grants — 226 of them, totaling $46 million, to recipients selected by the governor and individual state lawmakers — seemed to still be going ahead. Read More

New York Lawmakers Seek Independent Probe of Nursing-Home Coronavirus Deaths

With lingering questions about how the novel coronavirus killed thousands of New Yorkers who lived in nursing homes, a group of state lawmakers is pushing to create an independent commission to get answers from the state Department of Health. Read More

Policy analyst: Cuomo wrong to write-off nursing home criticism as political conspiracy

“The importance of discussing this and getting the true facts out is to understand what did and didn’t happen so we can learn from it in case this happens again,” Hammond said. Read More

EDITORIAL: Nursing home report requires a second opinion

No doubt, the Health Department and the governor would like this report to be the final word on the subject. But if it’s all the same with them, we’d still like a truly independent review. Read More