ALBANY – The top Lawmakers in Albany have come to an agreement on the state budget, now its just a matter of time before both the Senate and the Assembly approve bills to finalize the $135.1 Billion spending plan.
The budget – which was reached in an agreement between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and leaders of the State Senate and State Assembly – contains a spending increase that is under two percent and also calls for an increase in the state minimum wage to $9 an hour, which will take place in three phases over the next three years.
While exact figures are not available, lawmakers say the budget would increase the money given in base aid to schools by roughly $500 million over Cuomo’s original proposal for the 2013-2014 school year. It’s not known immediately what kind of impact that would have on the Jamestown school district, which was looking at a $1.9 million budget gap under the funding amount from the governor’s budget.
Also, exact figures were not available regarding Cuomo’s proposed $120 million cut to organizations that care for the developmentally disabled. The Resource Center is one of dozens of statewide agencies that would be negatively impacted as a result of that cut.
Under the budget, lawmakers will renew tax rates adopted in 2011 for three years. The rates — which include a higher surcharge for New Yorkers reporting more than $1 million income, but slightly lower rates for people reporting between $20,000 and $200,000 — were set to expire at the end of 2014.
The state will spend $350 million to send $350 rebate checks to homeowners with a dependent child younger than 18. Eligible households must report more than $40,000 in income and less than $300,000. The checks will be mailed sometime after April 1, 2014. Businesses will also see $300 million in tax relief, state officials said, but it was not immediately clear how it would be distributed.
Before the budget bills can be acted on, a three-day waiting period on bills is required. That means the senate and assembly will begin their voting on late Saturday, and lawmakers hope they will wrap up by Sunday.