“The Assembly Majority put forth a budget resolution today, and while it contained some positive measures, it did not do enough to advance the current condition of our state. I was pleased to see that the Assembly and Senate majorities did not link the governor’s proposed education reform agenda to school-aid funding. However, even this critical decision could not sway me to support the one-house resolution in its entirety.
“I was disappointed that the Assembly Majority did not put enough emphasis on the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA), as only half of the necessary funding was offered. Once again, I have been selected as the Assembly Minority representative of the Education Budget Committee. In this role, I will advocate for increased funding for library aid and state-supported schools for the blind and deaf, as well as the elimination of the GEA in order to fully fund our schools. These, among many other important state education matters, will remain top priorities as we head into the final stages of budget negotiations.
“Additionally, I was dissatisfied with the Majority’s exclusion of funding to support the Military Service Buyback program, a measure which was included in the Senate’s one-house budget proposal. This important program would provide equality to all New York veterans, and despite overwhelming support in both houses of the Legislature, was vetoed by the governor a few days shy of Veterans Day 2014.”