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Assembly leader declares fiscal victory

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.

--Tom Precious

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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