ALBANY, N.Y. – Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his 2014-15 budget Tuesday, detailing how he plans to pay for the ideas he proposed during his State of the State.
This year that budget adds up to more than $140 billion after federal money has been accounted for from the Affordable Care Act and Superstorm Sandy relief. However, the governor stressed they have been doing more with less, as part of the state operating budget is only increasing by 1.7-percent. The governor explained New York will have a surplus and he wants to use that to provide tax relief.
Education also received a lot of attention during the proposal. Cuomo is proposing a $2 billion dollar Smart Schools Bond Act, which would be used to make classrooms high tech. He also stated that $1.5 billion will be used to implement statewide universal Pre-K. Finally, he proposed $720 million to expand afterschool programs.
Cuomo then spent the last part of his speech focused on restoring the public's trust. While this was not related to the budget proposal, Cuomo explained that the recent string of corruption scandals and sexual harassment allegations has taken a toll.
In order to put a stop to the scandals, he is proposing to implement a public financing system, establishing limits on campaign contributions, increasing disclosure requirements and creating an independent division of election law enforcement within the State Board of Elections.
Cuomo also wants to create a confidential hotline run by JCOPE, which would allow legislative staffers to report incidents of sexual harassment.
The budget now depends on the NYS Legislature because they decide whether or not to pass the proposal. However, as Cuomo pointed out, there have been three onetime budgets and so he's optimistic this can be a fourth.
NEWS10 ABC spoke with local lawmakers on Tuesday, and both Democrats and Republicans were happy to hear that Cuomo wants to put a panel together to take a close look at Common Core and the best way to implement it to benefit New York students.