State Senate approves budget


| tcullen@queenscourier.com |

Photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo's Flickr
Photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo's Flickr

On Wednesday, March 27, the New York State Senate passed the budget.

It may be on time.

After Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders reached an agreement last week for  a tentative 2013-14 state budget, the Senate approved all bills in the budget during a late night session Tuesday. It will go to the Assembly next for approval.

Tax cuts and enhanced education are some of the highlighted outlines of the bill, released by Cuomo’s office upon the agreement.

The budget includes gradually raising the minimum wage from its current $7.25/hour to $9/hour by 2015. Wages would go up to $8/hour by the end of this year under the plan. It would also cut taxes for middle class families and small businesses.

If a family makes anywhere from $40,000 to $300,000, it will be eligible for a $350 child tax credit for three years, which would start in 2014, according to Cuomo’s office. The small business cut would give almost $800 million in tax eases to merchants statewide.

Workforce training, on a related note, would help fill an estimated 210,000 unfilled jobs in New York.
Expanded Pre-K programs and a bar exam style test for teachers would also be covered under the budget, and would reward teachers who get high performance ratings.

If approved by the April 1 deadline, this would be Cuomo’s third straight on-time budget since coming into office two years ago.

“This budget symbolizes the tremendous progress that has been made in Albany and demonstrates that the new New York government is once again working for the people of this state,” Cuomo said in a statement.

 

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