Friday, March 29, 2013

Legislators wrap up the state budget

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 9:27 AM

The state budget is done, save the governor's signature on the final legislation.

Late last night — or early this morning, to get all technical about it — the Assembly passed the last of the budget bills. The Senate passed the legislation earlier this week. Once Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the legislation, New York will have its third consecutive on-time budget and its earliest budget since 1983: facts that the governor and legislators are eager to tout. The plan lays out $135 billion in spending.

Whether it's a good budget depends on whom you ask. The budget increases the minimum wage, but includes related tax credits which the labor-aligned Fiscal Policy Institute says could discourage employers from paying above the minimum.

The budget includes a $1 billion increase in education funding — a 4.9 percent increase over last year — and includes $20 million in funding for extended school days. But it cuts funding for people with developmental disabilities by $90 million, despite a bipartisan effort on the Assembly floor to add funding for services.

The budget also contains new tax breaks for businesses, including the motion picture industry. But it doesn't include substantial industrial development agency reform (I posted about this yesterday), which is something the governor wanted.

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