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Senate's Budget Resolution

By Lombardo David
Monday, March 11, 2013

Local governments are set to receive another $20 million in state aid in the state Senate's proposed budget.

The Senate's budget resolution, which is available below, bumps up Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed aid to municipalities spending by $20.2 million. The money would be distributed on a $1.80 per capita basis, according to the resolution.

This money would not be available to New York City.

The budget also fully restores VLT aid to host communities, including Saratoga Springs.

Also in the budget is an increase for public schools and money to restore the Gap Elimination Adjustment, according to a statement from Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Delanson, who was pleased with this decision. She lamented the fact that it is not yet clear how this will impact schools in her district, as her office didn't have new school runs based on the Senate's proposal.

"I am concerned [Senate Republicans] will try to continue their past practice of shortchanging the districts that need it most, particularly lower income rural and small city districts in Montgomery, Greene and other Upstate Counties," Tkaczyk said in a statement.

For their part, Senate Republicans, who are part of a power sharing majority, trumpeted their planned restoration of funding for women's health programs. This includes million for "initiatives to
help women overcome the trauma of rape, eating disorders and breast cancer," which were not in Cuomo's budget.

The Senate restored about $8 million in this area. “This funding is important to the health and well-being of millions of women across this state, and my Republican colleagues and I are pleased and proud to include it as part of the Senate’s budget resolution,” Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos said in a statement . “We urge the Governor to consider the impact of these harmful cuts, and ask him to join us in standing up for women.”

The resolution also restores about $120 million in funding for the state's Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, which had been eliminated in Cuomo's amended budget. This restoration was also included in the Assembly's budget resolution.

Tkaczyk, who highlighted the attention she has brought to this issue, applauded the inclusion of funds.

The Senate's budget resolution needs to be melded with the Assembly's budget resolution and eventually Cuomo needs to sign off on a finished product.

Follow @Poozer87 on Twitter for more budget updates.

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