Here’s a summary of the Assembly and Senate one-house bills and how they compare to the Governor’s Budget and what NYSUT was advocating for. As a reminder, the final budget is due by midnight this Friday, March 31st.
I’ve top-lined all the items listed in the previous post.
The Governor’s budget called for an increase of $1Billion in education spending. We told legislators that that number should be $2.1B
- The Assembly budget includes an increase of $1.8B
- The Senate budget calls for $1.3B
The Governor’s budget eliminated the Foundation Aid formula. We asked for it to be maintained and for back aid to be repaid.
- The Assembly budget includes $1.4B in Foundation Aid and a four-year phase-in of total Foundation Aid
- The Senate budget includes $0.9B in Foundation Aid
The Governor’s budget eliminated funding for teacher centers. We advocated for reinstating their funding levels back to the 2008-09 level of $40 million.
- The Assembly restores Teacher Center funding to last year’s level of $14.3M
- The Senate budget does not address funding for Teacher Centers
As expected, neither house addressed APPR in their budget.
We advocated for amending the tax cap to a “true 2,” meaning that it would be 2% of the rate of inflation – whichever is GREATER (it is currently based on whichever is LESS). We also advocated for exemptions based on increased enrollment and other factors.
- The Assembly proposal requires PILOTs and BOCES capital to be exempt from the tax cap, as well as establishing a zero percent minimum to prevent negative tax caps.
- The Senate proposal would make the tax cap permanent and extend its current provisions to include New York City.
Special Education Waivers
The Governor’s budget includes language that would allow school districts, BOCES, special ed providers, and private schools to petition for flexibility in complying with certain special education requirements. We are lobbying against this.
- The Assembly bill rejects the waiver
- The Senate bill accepts the waiver
The Governor’s budget includes extension of the “millionaire’s tax.” NYSUT advocated to make it more progressive, which could raise an additional $5.6B in revenue for the state.
- The Assembly budget includes a progressive income tax surcharge
- The Senate proposal does not address a personal income tax surcharge
Democratic Assemblymen introduced a bill earlier this month that would compensate for the Carried Interest Loophole, which could raise state revenue by $3.5B. Neither house addressed the loophole in their budgets.
Freedom of Information Law
Language in the Governor’s budget would allow public disclosure (via a FOIL request) of the terms of new collective bargaining agreements BEFORE THEY ARE VOTED on by employee organization.
- The Assembly rejected this proposal
- The Senate accepted these provisions, but noted they are open to modifications as part of the budget negotiations process
As noted last time, there are quite a few other important issues in the budget. I’ve tried to hit on some of the most critical items, but there are a few that I did not mention last time, which definitely deserve notice.
Vouchers and Tax Credits: The Assembly does not include voucher or tax credit proposals, but the Senate proposes the “Education Affordability Act.” This would provide tax credits made to local educational organizations and not-for profits, would create a tax credit for parents who home school, and provide a tax credit for educators who purchase supplies. It would cost the state $675M over three years.
ELL: The Assembly plan provides $15M for ELL programs. The Senate plan provides no extra funding, but provides flexibility in hiring dual certified teachers to comply with Part 154.
Students in Temporary Housing: The Assembly includes school district funding of $10M for students in temporary housing. The Senate plan includes no additional funding, but creates a process to allow students in such housing to continue to attend school prior to displacement.
IRMAA – The Governor’s budget sought a change in civil service law to freeze Medicare Part B premium support at $104.90 for all NYSHIP retirees with Medicare primary insurance, as well as eliminate the reimbursement of the Income Related Monthly Adjustment (IRMAA), effectively resulting in a decrease in benefits. NYSUT lobbied against these proposals, both of which were rejected by both houses.
Charter Schools – The charter school issues in the budget are pretty significant and probably should have been mentioned in the prior post. As such, we’ll break that part out into a separate post.