As Albany continues to work toward a final New York State budget, Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) says that Education Investment Tax Credits-his keystone issue-are still in good shape.
“Education Investment Tax Credits have remained my number one, number two and number three priority,” said the Assemblyman. “I can’t put a fine enough point on this issue. Parents in our community deserve this relief and we’re not going to stop fighting for this until it’s passed.”
As the legislature begins to negotiate a single, final budget, each branch submits its own proposal. The Governor’s budget included Education Investment Tax Credits tied in with the Dream Act while the State Senate’s proposal was stronger, including education tax credits unconnected with other items. Now the Assembly budget proposal “Assembly Recommended Changes to the Executive Budget” is being submitted without EITC included, but Hikind says the battle is far from lost.
“This is a process,” said Hikind. “While I’m disappointed that Education Investment Tax Credits are not part of the Assembly’s proposed budget, it’s still early. I’m confident that we will get this done with Hashem’s help. I’ve continued to have regular meetings with Speaker Heastie, who was an early supporter of Education Investment Tax Credits, and there are currently 76 sponsors in the Assembly for this bill. That’s a huge number of sponsors, from Democrats to Republicans, from upstate to downstate. Moreover, I’m having conversations with other members who are not sponsors but who support the bill, so the total support is tremendous. I’m confident we’ll see Education Investment Tax Credits in the final budget. That’s what I’m fighting for.”
Part of that fight is gathering support from where it counts. Consequently, in addition to regular meetings with Speaker Heastie, Hikind is calling on Governor Cuomo to lead the charge for Education Investment Tax Credits, and to do so without conditions.
“The Governor showed unequivocal support for Education Investment Tax Credits,” said Hikind. “He called it ‘justice’ when he visited our community and he reiterated that position on more than one occasion, both to me and as demonstrated in his proposed budget. Now I’m calling on Governor Cuomo to decouple Education Investment Tax Credits from other issues and to lead the final charge on this all-important issue which will benefit millions of New Yorkers.”