Cuomo, Lawmakers Reach New York State Budget Deal, Agreeing On 2% Cut In Spending And No New Taxes


andrew-cuomoAlbany – Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers announced an agreement today on a $132.5 billion spending plan, clearing the way for the state’s first on-time budget since 2006.

The budget calls for a 2% decrease in overall spending and closes a $10 billion deficit – without any new tax hikes or borrowing.

“It is a big deal when this state passes a budget on time,” Cuomo said after striking the deal. “It’s an exceptionally big deal when the state passes a budget on time under these circumstances.”

Aside from a handful of changes, the agreement largely mirrors the spending plan Cuomo proposed on February 1 and represents a significant victory for the freshman governor.

Despite pleas from advocates and Assembly Democrats, the final budget restores only $272 million of the $1.5 billion cut Cuomo proposed in school aid. It was not immediately clear how much of that money was headed to city schools.

Cuomo would only describe the school aid restoration as “regionally balanced.”

An additional $91 million was also added for “human services funding,” but only a portion of that money was headed to city senior centers and programs for the homeless.

The budget deal does not include an extension of the state’s millionaire’s tax, which expires on Dec. 31. Democrats and education advocates had lobbied hard for a renewal of the tax as a way to blunt some of Cuomo’s cuts.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said he was not giving up on the tax and hoped to convince Cuomo and Senate Republicans to renew it before it expires.

Silver said he would also continue to push for an extension and enhancement of rent regulations, which, despite pressure from Democratic lawmakers, were not included in the final budget.

“We set a precedent here,” Silver said. “Hopefully by doing thing early, it will follow through on a lot of other issues.”

The state budget is due April 1. Cuomo had threatened to impose his spending cuts via emergency spending legislation if there was no agreement with the Legislature.

{NY Daily News/ Newscenter}