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January 11, 2018
On Monday, legislative leaders presented their legislative agendas. Despite the difficulties of the current fiscal environment, Speaker Heastie renewed his conference's commitment to funding education and indicated he wanted to "build on the success" of the past years, specifically in relation to Foundation Aid. The Senate focused more on tax relief, including reducing current mandates and prohibiting future unfunded mandates.
The Governor has announced he will release his 2018-19 Executive Budget on Tuesday, January 16th at 1:00 p.m..
Following the release, the NYSSBA Governmental Relations team will provide an overview and analysis, as well as school aid runs as soon as they become available.
January 4, 2018
Yesterday, Governor Cuomo delivered the 2018 State of the State address. Returning to a more traditional schedule, which he had abandoned in recent years, the Governor delivered the address on the opening day of session separate from the release of the 2018 Executive Budget.
Education issues were given very little time during the speech itself. The actual comments on education policy included:
December 20, 2017
Monday night, Governor Cuomo vetoed a number of NYSSBA supported bills. A listing of the bills is below. NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team was disappointed by these vetoes especially given their broad support. Despite being disapproved by the Executive, NYSSBA knows that these are issues of importance to our members, and will work to address the concerns raised in the veto messages and seek alternative solutions that will allow us to meet our goals.
Veto 209 (S.4283 (Murphy)/A.5965 (Galef)): This bill would have made a technical adjustment to the property tax cap by clarifying that a school district's costs related to BOCES capital be treated in the same manner as the district's own capital costs, which are excluded from the tax cap calculation. Such an adjustment would have removed the disincentive for school districts to invest in updating and expanding BOCES facilities.
December 15, 2017
Yesterday, the NYSSBA Governmental Relations team hosted a webinar discussing the recent election results and previewing the 2018 session and budget and legislative priorities.
If you were unable to participate, you can view the webinar and materials below.
December 12, 2017
On Monday, the Board of Regents released their 2018-19 School Aid proposal. The Regents recommended a school aid increase of more than $1.6 billion, or 6.3%, over current year funding levels. Their proposal includes:
December 4, 2017
Working through the night on Friday, the U.S. Senate voted 51 to 49 to pass its own version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) early Saturday morning. There was an amendment offered by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to authorize an expansion of 529 education savings accounts for use for nonpublic school tuition, similar to the language included in the House-passed bill. An additional amendment was offered by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to allow taxpayers to deduct up to $10,000 in property tax payments (similar to language found in the House-passed bill).
November 27, 2017
Congress has returned to Washington after the Thanksgiving holiday and the Senate is expected to start voting on their version of the tax bill as early as Wednesday. The House passed their version before the holiday. The Senate version currently includes a full repeal of the SALT deduction. The version passed by the House would eliminate the deduction of state and local income and sales taxes, and would cap the property tax deduction at $10,000. NYSSBA has been active in voicing our opposition to any changes to the SALT deduction.
The proposed tax plans are far broader than just the SALT proposal. Also on the table are proposals to allow for up to $10,000 to be withdrawn annually from 529 education savings plans for use towards elementary and secondary tuition and other expenses.
November 3, 2017
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives released their long anticipated tax reform bill. Coined the "Tax Cut and Jobs Plan," HR 1 includes a modified version of the plan to eliminate the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. Under this proposal, the deduction for state and local sales and income taxes would be eliminated, while the deductibility of property taxes would be continued, but capped at $10,000 per year. This compromise would still negatively impact many New Yorkers. Urge your congressional representative to oppose any change or reduction in the SALT deduction. Take Action Now
October 25, 2017
Congress is preparing to act on a budget resolution, an action that will pave the way for further action on a tax reform plan. Advertised as a tax cut for the middle class, the outline of the proposal (based on the information available at this time) would:
October 16, 2017
Delegates at the 2017 Annual Business Meeting engaged in significant debate on a number of issues. This year, the delegates were presented with one proposed bylaw amendment and thirty-one resolutions. By the end of the meeting, delegates had elected the 2017 NYSSBA officers, adopted one amendment to the bylaws, extended two existing positions and adopted twenty-four new positions.
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