Cuomo Delivers $132.5 Billion Budget Proposal
Albany, NY (WIBX) – At 2:00 p.m. today, Governor Andrew Cuomo will unveil his $130 million budget proposal. Cuomo’s budget is expected to cut spending by 2.5 percent. The state is facing a 2 billion dollar deficit in this year’s budget as of April 1st. Analyst say, the number would have been higher had the governor not secured an income tax adjustment that will increase assessments on wealthy New Yorkers. WIBX will have reactions from local officials following the 2012 state budget address.
Cuomo’s $132.5 billion budget for 2012-2013 lowers overall spending slightly while closing a $3.5 billion budget gap. The governor says that gap will be closed by his recent revamping of the state’s personal income tax and more than one-billion dollar cut in state agency spending. When it comes to education Cuomo called it a top priority, and says schools will receive a four percent increase in state aid–more than $20 billion overall. The governor says the increase in aid is tied to schools developing a new teacher-evaluation system plan by January of 2013.
Cuomo’s proposal also calls for nine-billion from public authorities and local government for major projects, along with three-billion from private-sector investment to repair roads and bridges around the state. The governor is also proposing a state takeover of counties’ growth in Medicaid expenses, a move that could save counties and New York City over a billion dollars over five years. Cuomo wants to create a new pension tier that would see new government employees get less benefits than before, along with the option of a retirement system similar to a 401-k plan. The governor also wants to merge the Lottery Division with the state Racing and Wagering Board into one entity as he continues his push to legalize casino gambling in the Empire State. The governor’s budget proposal will go before lawmakers in Albany for review. A signed budget is due by April 1st.