ALBANY - Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I- 57th District), Chair of the Senate Finance Committee announced today that the Senate has passed a fiscally responsible state budget that will control spending at two percent, monumentally increase state funding for education, ease the tax burden for middle class families, and grow the economy and create jobs.
“The state budget will enhance the quality of life for millions of New Yorkers, making our state a more affordable place for middle-class taxpayers and their families. The new state budget includes many initiatives that have been championed by Senate Republicans, including a record $24.8 billion for education aid, $4.2 billion in middle-income tax cuts, $27 billion for upstate infrastructure, continued property tax relief through the STAR program for hardworking taxpayers and seniors, and the creation of a program to help families care for a loved-one in a time of need,” said Senator Young.
“Senate Republicans led the charge to increase school aid, so that we ensure all of New York’s students receive the best possible educational opportunities. This year’s budget includes a $1.5 billion increase in overall school aid, and fully restores the reduction created by the gap elimination adjustment (GEA). This investment brings the total state support for education to approximately $25 billion and ensures students continue to have the resources they need to learn and thrive, which is great news for our children’s future,” said Senator Young.
“The 2016-17 state budget also will ensure that millions of hardworking New Yorkers and their families see meaningful property tax relief. Along with the preservation of the STAR and Enhanced STAR programs, Senate Republicans secured $4.2 billion in new tax relief for hardworking taxpayers and families. Building on the Senate’s past efforts, the middle income tax rate will be reduced even further beginning in 2018, reaching as low as 5.5 percent when fully phased in. It’s the lowest middle income personal income tax rate since 1947. This plan will save middle class New Yorkers approximately $6.6 billion in just the first four years, with savings reaching $4.2 billion per year by 2025,” said Senator Young.
“Infrastructure parity between road and bridges and the Metropolitan Transit Authority is another area receiving significant funding in this year’s state budget. The Senate fought hard and secured a $27 billion allocation for our roads and bridges. We also established several new programs that to allow our municipalities to improve roadway conditions, as well preemptively protect roads that are notably vulnerable to extreme weather,” she said.
“Efforts to address the rapidly growing public health crisis created by heroin and opioid abuse also received substantial attention as part of the state budget. The best approach to address the state’s growing public health epidemic is through prevention and treatment, and prosecution of dealers to the fullest extent. The final budget includes $166 million to support these efforts, a $25 million increase over the executive proposal, and reinforces the Senate’s commitment to provide the tools needed to address the wide-ranging issues created by addiction. By providing substantial funding in the state budget to address the crisis, we are saving lives and doing our part to break the drug’s grip on our communities,” Senator Young said.
“Finally, the budget enacted a paid family leave program that will balance the needs of New Yorkers with the needs of businesses. The program will give families the time to be together for the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for a sick family member. However, it will do so without imposing an undue burden on small businesses and other job creators who are the engine of our economy,” said Senator Young.