Sandy, education and economic development were top priorities in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget, but despite the unexpected costs from the storm, the proposed plan eliminates a $1.3 billion gap with no new taxes or fees.
“By making difficult decisions over the past two years we have brought stability, predictability, and common sense to the state’s budget process,” said Cuomo.
“Sandy caused widespread destruction and as we begin the daunting task of rebuilding in southern Queens and the Rockaways, the governor’s proposal focuses on our needs by including $21 billion for disaster-related recovery, rebuilding and mitigation,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder.
But the budget doesn’t stop at Sandy.
It increases education aid by $889 million, or an average of more than $300 per student, raises the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $8.75, and reforms the Workers’ Compensation system, saving more than $900 million.
In addition to money set aside for Sandy relief, another part of the budget is also good news for the borough.
The plan extends a film tax credit, which is set to expire at the end of 2014, for five more years.
“New York’s film tax credit has made our film industry an economic success story during an otherwise difficult economy,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris. “As the home for some of New York’s largest film production studios, western Queens has earned its reputation as Hollywood East thanks to this incentive program. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his ongoing support of the film tax credit and look forward to seeing western Queens continue to benefit from this important job-creating tool.”
On Tuesday Cuomo also announced a new website, Openbudget.ny.gov, which gives the public access to the state’s budget.
“Open Budget is bringing the people back into government by taking budget data out of government file cabinets and making it available to the public for the first time in an easy-to-access, downloadable form. This will facilitate research, analysis and innovation,” said Cuomo.