Cuomo Delivers Budget Address. What's in it for the Tier?
1/22/2013 (Updated 7:15:30 PM)(Source: Jason Weinstein)
Looking to pass his third straight on-time budget, Governor Cuomo unveiled his $136 billion spending plan, which calls for no new taxes, but a focus on upstate economic development and 4.4 percent increase in education aid.
"Over two years we have increased aid to education 8.6 percent. That is double the rate of inflation," said Cuomo.
"Our goal now is to see where he wants to put that and see that it goes to the neediest of school districts. Our schools are still struggling in our rural areas and high-needs areas," said Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, R-Guilford.
Many municipal leaders were waiting for Cuomo to offer mandate relief. Part of his solution - to have them borrow against future savings from state's new Tier VI to it's pension system.
"Local governments have a short-term problem in that they have pressure today before they can get to the out years before Tier VI can make a difference," said Cuomo.
Cuomo also repeated proposals meant to benefit upstate - a marketing campaign, and allowing three resort casinos, which local leaders hope would include Tioga Downs.
"I'm sure there will be a lot of debate as to where those casinos will be going," said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell.
Cuomo finished with a pledge to use an anticipated $30 billion in federal relief to rebuild areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy and also those in the Southern Tier still rebuilding from the flood of 2011.
"You can see many of the communities that were hit in the Southern Tier. This map actually happens to go right around Senator Tom Libous' house but that was just accidental," said Cuomo.
"I think it's very positive. We still have people all over the Southern Tier, particularly in Tioga County, parts of Broome county, and Vestal that are still suffering from the Flood of 2011," said Libous.
"I'm delighted that the Governor and his team have not forgotten what we've gone through in the Southern Tier," said Lupardo.
****Jason Weinstein, Fox 40 HD News****
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