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Budget deal

New York leaders, Gov. Cuomo reach deal on budget

March 29, 2014
Updated 1 p.m.
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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, left, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center, and Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos, R-Rockville Centre, talk on an elevator after a veterans event on Thursday, March 20, 2014, in Albany, N.Y.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, left, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center, and Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos, R-Rockville Centre, talk on an elevator after a veterans event on Thursday, March 20, 2014, in Albany, N.Y.

— Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have reached agreement on a $140 billion budget that would provide some tax relief for businesses, homeowners and renters and add $340 million for prekindergarten mainly in New York City.

Details for the budget covering the fiscal year beginning Tuesday were contained in legislation filed by staff overnight Friday. Lawmakers are expected to return Sunday to discuss the deal and vote Monday.

The agreement includes public campaign financing for the statewide comptroller's race. It would authorize matching public funds of $6 for each dollar of eligible contributions with limits of $4 million each for the primary and general election. Good-government advocates are seeking that for all statewide and legislative races.

The deal would also establish a new CEO at the board of elections to investigate violations of campaign finance laws.

The education amendments, filed early Saturday, contain $340 million for universal pre-K for each of the next two years, with $300 million for the city and $40 million for the rest of the state.

The deal would authorize putting a $2 billion bond act before voters in November, borrowing that would fund classroom computers and technology as well as building pre-K classrooms.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had pushed for all-day pre-K for city students and authority from the state to impose a tax surcharge on the city's highest earners to ensure reliable funding for five years. Cuomo opposed the tax, advocated statewide pre-K and promised to find money as soon as school districts choose to start.

Concerning the Common Core curriculum, standards in English and math designed to improve college and career readiness, the legislation would keep related test scores off the transcripts of students in third through eighth grades through 2018. School districts would be prevented from using test results as sole means of determining student placements.

Parents and teachers have complained about the curriculum changes and how they were implemented. The legislation would also establish measures intended to keep student scores private.

The 332-page revenue bill lists property and renter's tax credits through so-called circuit breakers, tax credits for families and revisions in bank, corporate, manufacturers and estate taxes.

 

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