Assembly Democrats will put out a one-house budget bill on Monday that will shift some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s education aid back into the state’s general education funding formula and likely add more aid from $200 million in new revenue to the state, Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle indicated today.
Cuomo’s proposal sets up a pot of $203 million for fiscally distressed schools, but Democrats want the money returned to the state’s $21 billion fund for education and distributed as part of the existing aid formula.
Yesterday, Democrats also asked for an additional $350 million for schools. The Democratic governor proposed a 4.4 percent increase in school aid, or $889 million more than the current fiscal year.
“At least from our perspective, putting that back either into foundation aid or GAAP elimination adjustment is where it would be be,” Morelle, D-Irondequoit, Monroe County, said. “We’re going to put more money into education, as a result. Yes.”
Morelle said it’s unclear how much the Assembly’s one-house budget will include in additional school aid. The sides agreed last week to $200 million in new revenue in the budget, so some will be used for school aid, he said.
“We agreed on $200 million more that’s available. I think some of that may find its way as well” into school aid, Morelle said.
Lawmakers are working on a tight schedule to get a third on-time budget. The March 31 deadline is earlier this year because lawmakers are scheduled to start their spring break on March 21.
So to get an on-time budget—which everyone expects will happen—lawmakers and Cuomo would have to have bills start being printed on March 18—to allow for a three-day waiting period for them to be voted on.
The waiting period could be lifted if Cuomo issues a message of necessity, but was so widely knocked for issuing one on for the gun-control law in January, that he won’t likely do it for the budget.
“We have a relatively short time frame here because for the budget, we don’t want to do messages if we don’t have to,” Morelle said. “So that gives us about a week of intense work with our colleagues in the Senate and on the second floor to get this done.”