Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveils state budget amid $6B deficit
Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out his spending plan for 2020 Tuesday as the state deals with a massive budget shortfall.
Cuomo sounded confident that his proposed budget will erase a $6 billion deficit, but there is some concern among Long Island legislators from both political parties.
The governor proposed a revamping of how the state distributes school aid, raising red flags among suburban legislators. While Cuomo proposed a 3% increase in education aid, he said the majority of that increase should go to poorer districts.
State Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan and other Republican critics say changing the school aid formula will likely mean shifting funds from suburban school districts to the city.
"This is pitting school districts against each other, regions against each other," said Flanagan.
Democratic State Sen. Todd Kaminsky of Long Beach says no one should jump to the conclusion that Long Island schools will get shortchanged.
"Our conference is going to fight to make sure our schools are funded properly," said Kaminsky. "We have middle class schools that some parts of the state consider wealthy, but we don't."
While Cuomo didn't give details, he said the state's deficit could be taken care of by slowing down spending and an overhaul of Medicaid. One proposal is having counties pay for any Medicaid increases that are over 3% from the year before.
The Assembly and state Senate, both led by Democrats, will now spend the next couple of months making changes to the spending plan.
The governor also briefly mentioned the bail reform controversy, saying that changes need to be made.