Cuomo announces deal on $140 billion state budget

The nearly $140 billion budget includes a five-year commitment to statewide universal prekindergarten as an alternative to Mayor Bill de Blasio's request for a citywide tax on NYC's wealthiest.  Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
The nearly $140 billion budget includes a five-year commitment to statewide universal prekindergarten as an alternative to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s request for a citywide tax on NYC’s wealthiest.
Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Weeks of compromises and concessions are mostly at an end with Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing a budget agreement that, if approved, settles the ongoing commotion over universal pre-kindergarten while short changing the city’s traffic safety requests.

The nearly $140 billion budget includes the five-year commitment to statewide universal prekindergarten that Cuomo promised as an alternative to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s request for a citywide tax on the five borough’s wealthiest.

Instead, the New York City’s prekindergarten and middle school aftershool programs are slated to receive $300 million from the state budget — without the tax. It’s also less than de Blasio’s original $340 million request, but de Blasio nonetheless praised the news.

“Through ups and downs, we never wavered from our promise to the people of this city to expand full-day pre-K and afterschool for our children starting this September,” de Blasio said in a statement on Saturday. “Today that pledge became a reality.”

De Blasio also praised the budget’s adoption of language that allows the city to offer rent subsidies to homeless families as well as a rent cap for New Yorkers diagnosed with HIV or AIDS.

The budget did not, however, include a provision for 160 new speed cameras outlined in the city’s plan to reduce pedestrian-related deaths to zero.

The budget also follows through on Cuomo’s plan to divert devoted tax money from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to pay off debt for the transit agency. In total, the state will transfer $30 million, which critics say passes the buck to transit riders.

A coalition of transportation advocates accused Albany on Saturday of sending a message “that the state can — and will — use the MTA as a piggy bank, siphoning dollars out of the pockets of transit riders.”

Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…


Shia LaBeouf disorderly conduct case pushed to September

A judge on Thursday adjourned until September the disorderly conduct and harassment case against actor Shia LaBeouf, who was charged with disturbing a Broadway theater…


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…


Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.