ALBANY -- Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said this evening that the new budget deal is a better budget than what was proposed by the governor in January because of the range of programs getting funding restorations.
“It’s a better budget because we refocused priorities toward children, toward families and toward some middle-class families’ needs,’’ Silver said in an interview at the Capitol
The Democratic leader cited an increase in money going to the formula under which schools are funded, including moving $200 million Gov. Andrew Cuomo wanted to use as performance incentives for schools. Steering the $200 million through the formula will end up benefitting low-income districts like Buffalo.
The Assembly Democrats also got an increase in the basic, monthly public assistance grant, as well as a $150 increase per full-time equivalent student for the state’s community colleges.
“Take a look at the Assembly one-house budget. We got everything we wanted,’’ Silver said.
Asked how this was an easier budget than past years, Silver said, “When there’s less money it’s always an easier budget.’’ He noted overall funding decisions made last year for education and Medicaid, as well as the tax package approved in December, also helped close this year’s budget down more easily than some of the past fiscal battles he has had with the five governors who have held office since he became the Assembly leader in 1994.