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New York budget impasse leads to huge bipartisan deal

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017

* You’ve probably heard about this already

New York will be the first state to make tuition at public colleges and universities free for middle-class students under a state budget approved by lawmakers Sunday.

The plan crafted by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo will apply to any New York student whose family has an annual income of $125,000 or less. To qualify the student would have to meet certain class load and grade point average restrictions, and room and board would not be covered.

“College is today what high school was 50 years ago,” Cuomo said on a radio interview Sunday on AM 970 in New York City. “If you’re a young person who wants success and a career, a college education is necessary.

The initiative is included in a $153 billion state budget proposal that passed the state Senate late Sunday after being endorsed by the Assembly a day earlier. The budget was due by April 1, but difficult negotiations delayed passage.

Students have to remain in New York for as many years as they received the benefit. If not, they have to pay it back as a loan.

* But that’s not all the governor and the NY legislature agreed to do as part of its budget deal

The state now will have a cap of two and a half years on temporary [workers’ compensation] benefits, which a worker can receive prior to the start of a 10-year cap on benefits for “permanent partial disabilities” — such as a chronic back condition — that affect a worker’s earning potential. […]

Another worker-centered reform lowers the degree to which a person’s injury lowers his or her earning potential — 75 percent, down from 80 percent — in order to apply for “extreme hardship” toward the end of the 10-year period and receive disability payments in perpetuity. […]

The state’s business community and its Republican allies in the state Senate stressed the need for additional reforms for years — particularly in the wake of last year’s passage of a minimum-wage increase and paid family leave — in hopes of relieving businesses of ever-increasing insurance premiums.

It became an issue that a number of GOP senators, including Majority Leader John Flanagan and Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco, frequently asserted as a priority of theirs in budget negotiations. The movement for reform managed to generate enough support among Assembly Democrats to stay in the final budget agreement.

Organized labor praised the legislation backed by the GOP. More on those reforms here.

* And then there was this

After years of efforts, ride-sharing advocates are celebrating in New York this week. The latest state budget deal paves the way for companies like Uber and Lyft to operate upstate.

* And this

A new provision in Gov. Cuomo’s budget will make it easier for union members to deduct their dues payments from state taxes.

The clause in the Empire State’s $153 billion budget — which was approved Sunday night — will put an estimated $35 million into the pockets of union workers in the public and private sectors as well as in the building trades.

* And this

To help offset the state’s $3.5 billion deficit and fund income tax cuts for people making under $300,000, the budget extends for two years an 8.82 percent tax rate on individuals making more than $1 million a year.

Remember, they have a Republican Senate there.

* And

The 2017-18 State Budget fully funds another installment of property tax rebate checks, providing millions of homeowners with $453 million in direct, much-needed tax relief through a check in the mail. When combined with the STAR and Enhanced STAR programs, these checks will bring total property tax relief in this year’s budget to $3.6 billion.

* And

After the Senate advocated for funding that was absent from the Executive Budget proposal, the final budget provides a $146 million multi-year boost in wages to compensate direct care and other clinical professionals for the important work they do in caring for our most vulnerable adults. The funding helps appropriately adjust salaries at not-for-profits that employ workers who provide services for individuals with disabilities, as well as staff at not-for-profits under the purview of the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services and the Office of Mental Health.

* And

The enacted budget includes a record level of school aid funding of approximately $26 billion. This is an approximately $1.1 billion increase over last year, equating to 4.4 percent, and continues the growth of education funding at twice the rate of the rest of the budget.

Lots more here.

And they did all of that after just a week-long impasse.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Linus - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:20 pm:

  2. - El Conquistador - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:27 pm:

    Rauner is broken.

  3. - Saluki - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:27 pm:

    This could have also been titled “Our Sorry State.”

  4. - Ole' Nelson - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:34 pm:

    They don’t have Bruce. But if for some bizarre reason they want him, they are welcome to him.

  5. - Flippy - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:34 pm:

    Irrelevant. Rauner is not interested in a budget. Not now. Now ever.

  6. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:34 pm:

    You mean their legislature was actually in session this week?

  7. - TJ - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:35 pm:

    I am embarrassed for our state…Wow!! Rauner is done!!!

  8. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:39 pm:

    Reading this I wince as I do hearing about budget negotiations and programming in MO on NPR in St. Louis.

  9. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    ===You mean their legislature was actually in session this week?===

    Yes Louis, Just like ours was the week of February 6th, when your wife’s boss pulled SGOPs off the Grand Bargain his Senate Republican Leader negotiated on his behalf.

    The problem isn’t the legislature this time Louis Louis.

  10. - STILL WATERS - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:48 pm:

    If New York can do all that what is Illinois’ problem? A TOTAL LACK OF WILL AND COMMITMENT!

  11. - Norseman - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:51 pm:

    See what happens when you actually have a governor and not a businessman pretending to be one.

  12. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:53 pm:

    Decisions get easier when you have a progressive income tax that tops out at 8.8% and starts at 4%!!).

  13. - Sir Reel - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    Maybe Illinois’ college bound can go to New York for their education. Staying in Illinois isn’t much of an optio.

  14. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:57 pm:

    Did Wall Street up and move as a result?

    Didn’t think so….

  15. - Patchin' - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 3:57 pm:

    They may also have democrats whose idea of a compromise is not: here are our demands, you drop your reform items to compronise with us.

  16. - Earnest - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 4:10 pm:

    Good on them. That had to be a really difficult negotiation. They may have a higher percentage of people like Radogno and Cullerton in their state government.

  17. - City Zen - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 4:10 pm:

    ==Decisions get easier when you have a progressive income tax that tops out at 8.8% and starts at 4%!!)==

    And tax retirement income.

  18. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 4:14 pm:

    Amen to the tax points noted above.

    (The free tuition plan has some holes/shortcommings progressives have rightly pointed out, but that’s not the big story/ies here…)

  19. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 4:16 pm:

    I’m moving to New York! I have one child in college and another going in August. I tried to stick with Illinois but I can’t anymore!

  20. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 4:20 pm:

    Compromise is not weakness, it’s survival. I wonder who will survive the coming elections.

  21. - WhoKnew - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 4:23 pm:

    AH, New York, you’re just showing off!

    “a $153 billion state budget proposal” & they have how many people?

  22. - City Zen - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 4:38 pm:

    According to Politifact: The maximum award is $5,500 to cover the full amount of tuition, but it’s applied after aid from the state’s Tuition Assistance Program and federal Pell Grants.

    Not bad, but I’d wager TAP and Pell are picking up most of the tuition. Even if not, you have to weigh the $22,000 savings against the job offer in NJ.

  23. - Roman - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 4:41 pm:

    Looks like the kind of deal that Cullerton and Radogno would cut. Can we adopt a unicameral parliamentary form of state government and put the senate in charge?

  24. - BriRei - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 4:50 pm:

    Cuomo is the anti-Rauner: get’s stuff passed and is ideologically flexible

  25. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 4:50 pm:

    –You mean their legislature was actually in session this week?–

    Whoa, such a burn! And so relevant to the obstacles preventing a deal.

  26. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 5:02 pm:

    ===The problem isn’t the legislature this time Louis===

    This time? Or No time? Or Any time? This week the legislature in New York was at work. Ours? Telling fairy tales.

    *Sigh!* The fairy tale of one man and only one man destroying this state while the legislature dominated by the majority party stands by helplessly and plays the victim only exists in Illinois.

    And it remains a pretty unbelievable fairy tale. So you just keep tapping those glass slippers . . .

    At least in New York the legislature was on duty and working this week. Where is ours again? Vacationing during the crisis?

    Watch those duct tape ads come true on May 31.

  27. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 5:15 pm:

    I’m certain the recent perp walks taken by two top legislators in New York also had nothing to do with their sprint into good government activity.

  28. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 5:15 pm:

    ===This time?===

    Yes, this time. And I’m not accusing Governor Rauner of destroying this state, I’m accusing him of intentionally torpedoing efforts to negotiate a bi-partisan budget and reform package, the very thing he claims he wants.

    You don’t need to put words in my mouth or dramatize matters. The fact is, Cullerton and Radogno were this/close to a deal and Governor Rauner killed it. That’s what I blame him for. And it makes me angry when I hear him say he’s never been happier.

  29. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 5:32 pm:

    –I’m certain the recent perp walks taken by two top legislators in New York also had nothing to do with their sprint into good government activity.–

    Could be the flip side, that Bharara got canned and they felt they could wheel-and-deal.

    Bharara was moving upstream against all of them regardless of position or party, including Cuomo and Blasio.

    Dangerous man to politicians and financial types and those who might like to mix the two a little.

  30. - Emily Booth - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 5:44 pm:

    What gives me hope about these trying times is that there are some very progressive states thinking ahead, planning for the future and moving forward. New York just joined them.

  31. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 5:53 pm:

    I’m jealous.

  32. - The Equalizer - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 8:12 pm:

    The budget happens when Bruce wants it to happen…and right now, he doesn’t. Them goalposts move faster than lightning.

  33. - Meh - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 8:25 pm:

    Yeah but if you work together to solve a budget crisis then what is there to talk about? /lamenewyork

  34. - SAP - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 9:14 pm:

    Yeah, but do they have term limits in New York?

  35. - illinois manufacturer - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 9:35 pm:

    No term limits in New York. But they did include 5 million for shelter pets while we did make them state pet.

  36. - illinois manufacturer - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 9:41 pm:

    They have a pension protection clause and they paid and they actually tax the rich

  37. - blue dog dem - Wednesday, Apr 12, 17 @ 10:29 pm:

    Something to work with…

  38. - Governor Chuy - Thursday, Apr 13, 17 @ 12:39 am:

    Free college? We don’t even have safe elementary schools after closing 50 schoos! Education is a right not a commodity.

  39. - Ahoy! - Thursday, Apr 13, 17 @ 8:25 am:

    –And they did all of that after just a week-long impasse.–

    Madigan is not the Speaker of the House in NY.

  40. - Jerry 101 - Thursday, Apr 13, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    I’ve long held, half jokingly, that Illinois wouldn’t get a real budget until somewhere around March or April 2019. A couple of months after Illinois’ next governor is sworn in.

    Seems more and more like I might just be right. Which really stinks. God only knows how bad things will be by then.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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