ORANGETOWN, N.Y. -- With the passing of the state's 2016-17 budget on Friday, State Sen. David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) said he is proud to deliver a budget that will continue to provide relief to middle-class families.
"This year marks the largest education investment in the history of New York," Carlucci said. "We will fully restore $434 million in funding to our schools by eliminating the Gap Elimination Adjustment that has shortchanged our children, and increase Foundation Aid funding to $627 million for our school districts that need it most. In addition, we will freeze tolls on the Tappan Zee bridge and the Thruway, with a total of $700 million in new funding. There is much more work to accomplish, but passing this budget is an excellent start to keeping New York affordable for all residents,” said Carlucci.
The budget will include a number of Carlucci's legislative priorities:
- A new family leave law grants employees 12-weeks of leave while receiving up to two-thirds of their regular pay.
- A toll freeze until 2020 keeps tolls affordable and safeguards the economy of the Lower Hudson Valley.
- A major $1 billion tax relief package for the middle-class significantly reduces the taxes of millions of New Yorkers. The package aims to cut personal income taxes for households earning between $26,000 and $300,000.
- A $434 million investment to eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment remedies the long-standing problem of subtracting funding from schools to make up for budget shortfalls which have devastated school districts upstate.
- The final budget includes $166 million in funding to help address the challenging public health crisis caused by heroin and opioid abuse in communities throughout the state.
- A record level of funding for transportation infrastructure reinvigorates all of New York’s transportation needs both upstate and downstate. An investment of $27 billion in the Department of Transportation and $27 billion in the Metropolitan Transit Authority inject much-needed funding while ensuring that New York’s transit projects move forward.
- The state’s Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) will receive $438 million this year to help local governments move forward with important local highway, road, and bridge repair projects.
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