From the office of 126th District Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo.
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) announced today that the Assembly passed its $133 billion budget proposal that closes a projected $10 billion deficit with $3.1 billion (2.3%) in spending cuts from last year. In addition, the Assembly’s budget proposal also restores some funding to schools, community colleges, health care and senior programs.
“The Assembly budget proposal balances spending with revenues, but most importantly, echoes the concerns of my constituents,” said Lupardo. “Since the governor introduced his budget proposal last month, I’ve heard from hundreds of constituents and met with dozens of organizations. The majority of those I’ve heard from and met with wanted restorations to a variety of programs and services. They overwhelmingly supported continuing the ‘millionaires’ tax’ to pay for some modest restorations.”
The Assembly budget proposal would extend a modified version of the “millionaires’ tax” on just those with incomes of $1 million or more. Currently, the temporary personal income tax (PIT) surcharge, which is scheduled to sunset at the end of this year, affects those individuals with incomes $200,000 or $300,000 for families. According to the Center for Working Families, the Assembly’s proposal to modify the “millionaires’ tax” would only affect less than 0.1% of taxpayers in the 126th Assembly District, which includes the City of Binghamton and the towns of Union and Vestal.
The “millionaires’ tax” extension would provide $706 million in additional revenue, which the Assembly budget proposal would use for some restorations, such as approximately $200 million for school aid and $16.6 million for community colleges. The Assembly also restores funding for senior programs, including $34.3 million for the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program, $17.5 million for home visiting and $339,000 for kinship care programs. The Assembly also rejected the governor’s proposals to increase co-pays for Family Health Plus and Child Health Plus, as well as rejected the elimination of Medicaid Part D “wrap around” prescription drug coverage. A complete list of all the changes in the Assembly’s proposal is available online at http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/Reports/WAM/20110314/.
Both the state Senate and Assembly advanced their own budget proposals today. They will now convene conference committees to work out their differences and negotiate with the governor for a final spending pan before the April 1st deadline.
“The Senate and Assembly budget proposals bring us closer to an on-time budget. While the two proposals differ in some ways, they both spend less than last year’s budget and restore funding to vital programs and services,” said Lupardo. “The Assembly and Senate’s plans are also in line with the overall spending cuts proposed by the governor and spend less than last year’s budget. I’m optimistic that we’ll have a three-way agreement between the governor, Assembly and Senate for an on-time budget.”
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