Highlights Ahead of the State Budget's Passage

Today is the last scheduled day of the state budget season, and we are on track to pass a sixth straight on-time budget. Given last-minute negotiations throughout this week, the budget required a message of necessity in order to pass the budget resolution by the April 1 deadline.

As there are many significant, comprehensive proposals that have been considered in the budget this year, I will provide budget summaries in the coming days of what was funded in the budget, what programs have been increased, what has been cut, and lots in-between -- including record increases in funding for education.

Here are a few highlights for this week:

City of Albany slated to receive $12.5 million from state budget. The City of Albany is expected to receive $12.5 million per its request in this year’s budget. The funding will ultimately come from a "spin-up" on the Empire State Plaza PILOT in fiscal years 2032 and 2033.

I'm proud to join my local colleagues in being able to help secure the City of Albany $12.5 million from the 2016-2017 state budget and I thank Governor Cuomo for his support. A long-term solution to the City's structural financial challenge must still be resolved given that more than 60 percent of all property is tax exempt and half of this is owned by the State of New York. I will continue to urge that Albany needs its fair share of state aid to offset the costs of hosting state government.

Op-ed on UAlbany engineering school. In an Albany Times Union commentary published this week, Assemblymember John McDonald and I talk about the importance of the University at Albany's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences project -- which has the support of our colleagues in both the Senate and the Assembly, including Assemblymembers Steck, Santabarbara, and Lopez, alongside Senators Breslin, Amedore, and Farley.

Hilton Barn in New Scotland moves. Earlier this week, I joined town and county officials, residents, and onlookers for the cross-street move of the Hilton Barn. I'm proud to note this move was made possible in part from state capital funding I was able to designate to help preserve this historic structure.

The barn, which was originally built in 1898, moved across Route 85A in order to make way for a new residential development in the former location.

Earth Day Expo. The Earth Day Expo and Bicycle Parade will take place on Sunday, April 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Washington Park Lake House in Albany. Prior to the Expo, a 12-mile escorted Earth Day “Bicycle Parade” will start 9 a.m. at the Lake House and visit award-winning green energy buildings. The ride returns to Washington Park at 11:30 a.m. with "tykes on trikes" from local schools/neighborhoods joining for the last leg of the journey.

There will be family entertainment and live music, children's events, an electric vehicle show, hands-on alternative energy activities, composting and recycling displays, a "Green Fashion Pageant", a model solar car race and vendors featuring earth-friendly products, services and delicious wholesome foods. The event will be held rain or shine.

Job Opportunities: New York State has setup a new job portal entitled Jobs Express, where thousands of private and public sector jobs are listed. Visit jobs.ny.gov for more information on how to apply for these opportunities.

As always, for the latest news or for upcoming events, please visit my office online, on Facebook, on Twitter, or my Times Union blog. If you would like to reach my office, please feel free to send us a note.

Sincerely ---