Report to Community Board 3
December 23, 2008
Budget Update: Assemblymember Kavanagh was in Albany today to receive the Governorís proposed Fiscal 2009-2010 budget. Facing a $15.4 billion deficit, the Governor submitted his proposal over a month before required, in hopes of stimulating budget negotiations. The Governor has also called for the budget to be completed by March 1st, a month before the April 1st deadline, in hopes of saving over $1 billion through early implementation of reforms. The Governorís budget includes a number of significant cuts and fee and tax increases, which will be discussed further in the weeks ahead but some of the key proposals include:
- A reduction of State aid for public schools by $698 million (3.3%) for a total $20.7 billion. While the Governor remains committed to fulfilling the Stateís $7 billion commitment to settle the CFE lawsuit, he proposes stretching the phase-in period from four years to eight.
- Limiting Medicaid growth to $16 billion - an increase of 3.8 percent.
- An increase in SUNY and CUNY tuitions to $620 and up to $600, respectively. The Governor also proposes a student loan fund that would provide $350 million to some 45,000 students who are residents of New York.
- Cutting New York Cityís entire municipal aid payment.
- Closing of "Underutilized" state facilities including: Four prison camps and several annexes, the Manhattan OASAS addiction treatment center, three OCFS evening reporting centers, six OCFS youth facilities.
- A $4.1 billion package of taxes and fees - a total of 88 new or increased fees Ė including: An 18 percent "obesity tax" on non-diet soda, the end of the sales tax exemption on clothing and shoes up to $110, a new tax on cable and satellite TV services, a 17-cent increase in the cigar tax.