Advocacy Update: State Budget Negotiations Continue
March 30, 2019
Yesterday afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo held a press event to provide an update on 2019 budget negotiations in advance of the weekend. Over the course of the event, 3 issues of significant interest to NYSSBA members were discussed.
First, the Governor indicated that his proposal to redistribute Foundation Aid among school buildings, dubbed "equity" plans, is still very much under discussion. His comments suggested that he still believes that some version of this plan will be in the final budget.
Second, the Governor indicated that total education spending would be approximately $50 million more than what he proposed in the Executive budget. However, he did not indicate how much of that would be Foundation Aid. Media reports have suggested that the Foundation Aid increase will be close to last year's increase, but legislative leaders have indicated that they are still fighting to increase the final number.
Third, the Governor indicated that some version of a permanent property tax cap will be included in the final budget. Legislative leaders have tacitly confirmed in the media that this is correct though there is no clear indication if there will be changes to the cap.
Session and committee meetings have already been scheduled for tomorrow to act on the budget bills that have been introduced, including a "skinny" version of the Education bill from which most of the education provisions have been removed.
A few items of note in the initial bills include:
- Authorization for SUNY schools to offer no or reduced-cost tuition and fees to dually enrolled high school students
- Requiring all employers, including school districts, to provide all employees with three hours of PTO to vote in all non-district elections
- Prohibiting employers from giving the personal contact information of unionized employees to third parties
- Providing protection for public employees and labor unions from lawsuits brought by former "agency shop" employees attempting to recapture the fees they were required to pay prior to the Janus ruling.
All outstanding issues, education and otherwise, will likely be dealt with in one bill which has not yet been introduced.
NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team will continue to report on these and other issues. For more information, visit our Key Issues Page.
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