Gov. Andrew Cuomo and top lawmakers outlined Thursday an agreement for the state budget that closes a $1.3 billion gap with no new taxes or fees.
This budget, if it passes by the April 1 deadline, will be the third consecutive on-time or early budget under the Cuomo administration.
New York has not had a budget on track this far in advance of the deadline since 1976. The last time there were three consecutive on-time budgets was in 1984.
The budget affords $1.125 billion in new tax cuts to middle class families over three years, as well as a new child tax credit of $350 per year for three years for families earning between $40,000 and $300,000.
It also includes nearly $800 million over three years in tax breaks for businesses, a move the lawmakers hope will "help reverse New York's longstanding reputation as the tax capital of the nation."
Just as the New York City Council recently approved a measure to help veterans get licensed for employment when they return home, the state budget adds additional incentive for hiring those just home from serving: a permanent tax credit for hiring veterans.
Lawmakers have also allocated $181 million in tax credits over three years for businesses hiring young people, and the minimum wage is set to increase to $8 per hour by the end of this year, and ultimately to $9 by the end of 2015.
Some more experimental education initiatives are receiving a support from the Capitol, including $4 million for early college high school programs, like Bard High School Early College on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, once of the first such programs established in partnership with Bard College and the Department of Education in 2001.
Another $15 million is going to "an innovative program designed to transform schools into community hubs that integrate social, health and other services, as well as after-school programming to support students and their families," a seemingly salient allocation in light of the calls for more community programs for young people in areas like East Flatbush, where violence broke out last week following the shooting of allegedly armed 16-year-old Kimani Gray by plainclothes NYPD officers.
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