Governor Cuomo Introduces First Budget....It would seem that all the powers that be are greatly displeased by the Governors budget proposal. If you are so inclined you can read the entire thing here. The displeasure being expressed at least gives me hope that Cuomo is serious about the fiscal crisis that is facing the state of New York.
For reactions to the budget feel free to start here. Much more here, here, and here.
— $132.9 billion total budget.
— Reduces overall government fund spending 2.7 percent including a loss of $6 billion in federal stimulus money.
— Cuts Medicaid $1 billion, or 2 percent, to $52.8 billion.
— Cuts public school aid $1.5 billion, or 7.3 percent, to $19.4 billion.
— Cuts $170 million in support for state and city senior colleges and $46 million in base aid to community colleges; extends reductions in tuition assistance awards for a second year.
— With no contracts in place for the coming year, promises to work with unions representing 94 percent of the state work force for future, ongoing savings.
— Proposes up to 9,800 state layoffs if negotiated savings aren't reached; Cuomo says he still wants a wage freeze for the year.
— Adds $340 million in "revenue enhancements," with better tax collections from more electronic filing, lottery adjustments and a surcharge on state racing purses.
— Limits growth in property tax exemption benefits in the STAR program, which result from declining property value, to 2 percent.
— Creates a task force to recommend prison closures; merges corrections and parole agencies and cuts six parole board positions; cuts budget $237 million to $2.76 billion.
— Proposes more preventive local services for juvenile justice programs and reducing detention facilities.
— Cuts State Police budget $60 million to $647 million.
— Cuts environmental and energy program spending 6.5 percent, with $1 billion for the Department of Environmental Conservation, $209 million for the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation and $134 million for programs supported by the Environmental Protection Fund.
— Cuts aid to cities, towns and villages by 2 percent, with an estimated $301 million savings from no payment to New York City for the second straight year.
— Cuts aid to mental health agencies by $227 million to $8.2 billion.
— Merges banking, insurance and consumer protection agencies into a new Department of Financial Regulation.