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Cuomo On 2011-12 Budget

Cuomo On 2011-12 Budget

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Published by Celeste Katz

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Published by: Celeste Katz on Mar 31, 2011
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State budget eliminates $10 billion deficit, includes sweeping reforms and efficiencies 
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the passage of the 2011-2012 budget thateliminates a $10 billion deficit. The budget includes historic reforms that redesign stategovernment, create efficiencies through consolidation, cap spending increases for education andMedicaid, and transform the future budgeting process.The approximately $132.5 billion budget reduces spending overall by more than 2 percent fromthe previous year, eliminates 3,700 prison beds, establishes Regional Economic DevelopmentCouncils, brings performance funding to education, redesigns Medicaid, and caps next year'seducation and Medicaid spending. This budget reaches its fiscal goals with no new taxes and no borrowing, and will also cut the2011-12 projected budget deficit from $15 billion to about $2 billion. Combined four-year gapsare reduced from $63 billion to less than $10 billion. Based on preliminary estimates, all funds spending will total approximately $132.5 billion, adecrease of $3.6 billion from the previous year. State operating spending will total $88 billion,an increase of $1.2 billion or 1.4 percent. The budget closes the current gap with $9.3 billion inspending reductions or nearly 90 percent of the plan. "Tonight the Legislature not only passed an on-time budget, but a historic and transformationalbudget for the people of the state of New York," Governor Cuomo said. "This bi-partisan and bi-cameral cooperation will give New Yorkers the good budget they deserve. It was an invaluablepublic service for the state government to 'function' so well at this difficult time and I especiallyapplaud the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker SheldonSilver for this demonstration of competence and performance in state government." Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said, "This budget is a responsible budget that meets our goals of cutting spending, reducing taxes, and empowering the private sector to create jobs. Bypassing this budget on-time, we have shown that Albany can be functional and accountable onceagain. I congratulate Speaker Silver, and all of the members of the Senate and Assembly, andI thank our Governor for providing the leadership to get a sound bipartisan budget in place for New York."Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, "We are confident that this will be the first of manyagreements the Legislature will reach in concert with the Governor; agreements that will restore
New Yorkers' faith in our government, make it more efficient and more productive, and helpto make our great state a better and more prosperous place in which to live, to work, and to dobusiness. The final product, the 2011/2012 state budget, is a sobering one. Difficult and painfuldecisions had to be made to address the fiscal reality facing our state. The Assembly Majority,working with the Governor, was able to achieve some critical restorations that will soften thecuts affecting working families, students, senior citizens and or most vulnerable populations." Senate Democratic Leader John L. Sampson said, "With the passage of this budget, Governor Cuomo has taken us through the crossroads and closer to a government that works better andcosts less for taxpayers. I believe this budget sets the table for the kind of state governmentMiddle Class families deserve. I commend Governor Cuomo for his leadership and for hiscommitment to restoring New York's standing as the Empire State." Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb said, "This is not a perfect budget, but a realistic one.It involves tough choices that begin a long overdue – and painful – process of reducing spending,rightsizing state government and reforming Albany's culture of tax-and-spend. The budgetcontains important victories including defeat of a 'Success Tax' extension, closure of the state's$10 billion budget deficit, enactment of Power for Jobs, decreased spending, along with no newborrowing or tax increases, all of which are priorities our Assembly Minority Conference haslong championed." 
2011-2012 Budget Fact Sheet
The budget reflects significant initiatives proposed by Governor Cuomo to transform thestate budget and control spending growth while redesigning programs in every area of stategovernment. The budget closes a $10 billion shortfall and puts in place mechanisms to control futurespending. The budget puts the state on a sustainable path that will lead to an 85 percentreductionin projected out-year gaps. 
Putting the State's Fiscal House in Order 
The 2011-2012 state budget contains no new taxes, includes 2-year appropriations for educationand Medicaid, caps the growth of both education and Medicaid spending, closes unneeded andoutdated state-run facilities and includes no new funding for member items. 
Redesigning and Rightsizing Government 
The budget contains several wide sweeping measures to redesign and right-size New York'sgovernment, including:
State operations
: The budget reflects Governor Cuomo's proposed 10 percent year-to-year general fund reductions for all state agency operations, with comparablereductions for the State and City University Systems. State operations reductions willtotal $1.4 billion for 2011-12. This includes workforce cost reductions by $450 million.Negotiations are ongoing with unions to avoid the last-resort option of up to 9,800layoffs.
Mergers and consolidations
: The budget reflects the consolidation of eight agenciesor authorities into four, saving more than $50 million in 2011-12. These include merging:
Department of Insurance and Department of Banking into the newDepartment of Financial Services
The Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation into theDepartment of Economic Development
Department of Correctional Services and Division of Parole into the newDepartment of Corrections and Community Supervision
The Consumer Protection Board into the Department of State
ExecutiveReorganization Act of 2011
: The budget authorizes the Executive Reorganization Act of 2011, which will provide broad authority to reduce the number of agencies, authorities,and commissions. The legislation will allow for sweeping reorganization of stategovernment, providing savings over many years and more efficient government services.The reorganization will be accomplished through the Governor's Spending andGovernment Efficiency Commission (SAGE).
Citizen Empowerment Tax Credits
: Funding would be available to incentivize localgovernment consolidation or dissolution, providing a bonus to the newly combined localgovernment's tax levy where at least 70 percent of the state bonus must be used for property taxrelief.
Realigning School Aid 
The budget realigns education financing to meet New York's fiscal reality and providesustainable and predictable funding while reaffirming the commitment to improve educationaloutcomes in the classroom. Prior to this budget, education spending was projected to grow at anunaffordable rate of 13 percent for the 2011-12 school year.The budget includes school aid of $19.6 billion for the 2011-12 school year. This reflects areduction of $1.3 billion or 6.1 percent from 2010-11 including state operating funds and $608million of federal Jobs Bill funding. This reduction represents an average of 2.5 percent of school districts' total spending.Without consideration of the Federal Jobs bill funding given to districts last year, the year-to-

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