Bipartisan Budget Veto Override
From the NYS Assembly • Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Steve Sanders, Chair, Education Committee
Legislature makes the right choice —
The Assembly and Senate stood up to the governor’s irresponsible vetoes and enacted a state budget that provides New York schools with $1.1 billion more than his budget and blocks his double-digit property tax hike. Our state could not afford the governor’s wrong choices. That’s why the Assembly and Senate came together in a spirit of bipartisanship to make the right choices for children and taxpayers by helping schools avoid cutting essential educational programs, laying off teachers and increasing local property taxes.
Had the governor’s veto been sustained, elementary and secondary schools would have been slammed with a $1.4 billion education cut – the largest in New York’s history. In addition to eliminating early childhood education programs, the governor’s budget would have cut funding for after-school programs, classroom technology and the necessary maintenance of school buildings.
Assembly rejects Pataki’s 20% property tax hike
This year’s state budget deficit forced a lot of tough decisions, but instead of leading our state forward through this crisis, the governor refused to negotiate and vetoed the Legislature’s bipartisan budget.
The Legislature’s budget rejects the governor’s attempt to force property taxpayers and local governments to foot even more of the bill for quality education. The governor’s budget would have increased regressive property taxes 20 percent on average – hitting working families and seniors on fixed incomes, those who can least afford more taxes, the hardest. And the budget rejects the governor’s plan to freeze basic STAR property tax savings.
Saving early education programs
While the governor wanted to shut the door on New York’s commitment to our youngest students, the Legislature’s budget continues to invest in universal pre-K, full-day kindergarten and smaller classes. The Assembly has steadfastly championed the merits of early education and the unique and lasting advantage it gives students.
Research shows that smaller class sizes and pre-kindergarten benefit children through higher achievement, lower dropout rates, and less disruptive behavior. Early education investments also save money in the long run by reducing the need for costly special education placements and helping prevent students from repeating grades.
If the governor had his way, approximately 240,000 students would have lost the benefits of personal attention in smaller classrooms and 60,000 children would have been forced out of pre-K. Another 60,000 would have been denied pre-K this coming fall, losing an opportunity that can never be regained.
To protect these invaluable programs, the Legislature’s budget fully funds early education and protects pre-K from elimination by the governor. At a time when our schools and children are facing higher standards, the Assembly remains committed to ensuring every student has access to a quality education taught in a top-notch school.
Legislature’s budget protects students and taxpayers
This budget continues the Assembly’s strong tradition of standing by our schools. Since the governor took office in 1995, when he said “let me tell you flat out, we aren’t going to give ... any school district in the state more money in 1995,” the Assembly successfully restored $2.8 billion that he tried to cut from education, established the landmark LADDER early education program, and helped create the STAR tax-relief program.
The governor’s assault on our schools was the wrong choice. Now we need to move on and hope that the governor provides the leadership New York is depending on.
For more information about the Legislature’s budget and school aid funding for your district, visit: www.assembly.state.ny.us
For a comparison of the governor’s School Aid Plan to the Legislature’s budget for individual school districts see: http://assembly.state.ny.us/comm/Ed/20030430a/
For a detailed look at the Legislature’s education aid for individual school districts see: http://assembly.state.ny.us/comm/Ed/20030430/
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