Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced the historic passage of the State's fourth consecutive on-time budget.
With today's passage, this State's administration has delivered four on-time budgets in a row -- under the same governor and legislative leadership -- for the first time in more than forty years, not since Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, Assembly Speaker Perry Duryea, and Majority Leader Earl Brydges.
The budget holds spending growth below two percent for the fourth consecutive year, continuing a record of fiscal discipline that has reversed decades where state spending increased at a higher rate than inflation and personal income growth. Along with other targeted investments that will grow the economy and strengthen New York's communities, the budget contains $1.5 billion in property tax cuts to aid New York's homeowners and encourage local governments to increase efficiencies, as well as a major five percent increase in State education aid.
"This budget builds on the State's progress over the past three years in order to grow the economy and create new opportunities for New Yorkers and their families," Governor Cuomo said. "This budget maintains the fiscal discipline that has characterized the last three years of progress by holding the growth in spending below two percent, while also making broad tax cuts that will help homeowners and businesses thrive. It also contains targeted investments that will transform our schools, ensure safer, cleaner, and fairer communities, and restore the public's trust in government. This budget contains the framework that will allow us to build a new New York, and I commend the members of the Senate and the Assembly who have joined us to continue that progress."
Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Dean Skelos said, "I am pleased that we are acting today on a bipartisan budget that delivers property tax relief to hardworking families, reduces taxes for businesses so they can create new jobs and gives every student the resources they need to be successful. Our enacted budget includes a new property tax rebate program, a reduction in the Gap Elimination Adjustment for schools, expansion of the EPIC program for seniors, and elimination of the corporate tax for manufacturers. I congratulate Governor Cuomo for achieving comprehensive, bipartisan ethics and election reforms that will increase transparency and restore confidence in government. Working together, we will pass the state's 4th consecutive on-time budget, a symbol that state government is functioning and getting results. I thank the Governor for his strong leadership and our partners in the Legislature, Senator Klein and Speaker Silver, for their hard work and commitment to the people of this state."
Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Jeffrey D. Klein said, "This budget delivers on our promise to provide high-quality, full-time, universal pre-k to tens of thousands of New York City four-year-olds starting this September. I am very proud of the fact that this budget fulfills the Independent Democratic Conference's pledge to make New York more affordable for working families, by expanding prescription drug coverage for seniors, increasing state funding for day care programs, and providing much needed relief to renters and homeowners across our state. By working with all of our colleagues, we can and must continue to make New York more affordable for the families and small businesses who need us most. Our work on campaign finance reform has just begun, and I look forward to passing a more comprehensive system of public financing before the end of this year's legislative session. All of us agree that we must do more to restore the integrity and fairness of our electoral process."
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, "Throughout the negotiations leading to this budget agreement, the Assembly Majority put working families first and endeavored to address the myriad challenges facing them today. We are proud that the 2014-15 enacted state budget makes a strong commitment to the education of our children through dramatic investments in school aid and universal pre-K, and much-needed increases in TAP, community college base-aid, and higher education opportunity programs -- all historic Assembly initiatives and priorities. Equally important, this budget keeps our promise to provide working families with tax relief, to create jobs in every region of the state, to alleviate the child-care crisis, and to honor our longstanding obligation to provide affordable housing, to protect public health and to care for our most vulnerable citizens. In addition, this budget puts New York on the path to fair elections, a goal we have pursued for nearly 30 years."