ALBANY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo today unveiled his $137 billion budget plan to pay for the ambitious ideas he laid out in his State of the State address.
Cuomo said that for the third-straight year, he's proposing a budget that includes no new taxes or fees. He says it will streamline state government and it includes a 4.4 percent increase in state aid for schools.
The governor's plan totals $137 billion with a 2 percent spending increase, but it actually balloons to $142 billion with a 5 percent increase when federal aid for recovery from Superstorm Sandy is included. The plan includes so-called "mandate relief," or money to help local governments fund state-required programs.
Cuomo said he also wants to fund marketing programs, "duty-free" shops for New York products, and jobs programs aimed at economically struggling upstate communities.
For the most part, the governor's spending plan got high praise from Long Island legislators, who say it should help ease the burden on high-taxed Long Islanders.
The budget plan now goes to the Legislature for hearings, and Cuomo will meet with legislative leaders to negotiate a final plan by the April 1 start of the fiscal year. Under previous administrations, the state had missed its budget deadline, but if Cuomo can get lawmakers to hammer out a deal, it would be his third on-time budget.