Increases in education, infrastructure, and economic development funding included
With New York State’s new fiscal year underway, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo announces details impacting Broome County. The $142 billion budget caps spending at two percent and includes significant increases in funding for critical programs for the Southern Tier.
Among the budget items with direct impact on Broome County are:
-$12.9 million increase in aid over last year for Broome County schools. Also included is a nearly $2 million increase in Foundation Aid and $9.8 million in Gap Elimination Restoration.
-$50 million for the Binghamton University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
-$12.45 million for Binghamton University to renovate the Castle on the campus of the Greater Binghamton Health Center (previously awarded to SUNY Upstate).
-$5 million for the SUNY Broome Community College Hospitality Center at the Binghamton Carnegie Library.
-Increased aid to community colleges by $100 per FTE (full-time equivalent).
-$1.5 billion for the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, which is now part of the fifth round of the Regional Economic Development Council Awards; the REDC Awards were also allotted $220 million.
-$30 million for the Southern Tier Agricultural Economic Development Initiative
-$100 thousand for the United Way of Broome County to begin an anti-poverty initiative.
-A $25 million increase, $10 million in operating aid and $15 in new capital spending, for Upstate transit systems (e.g. Broome County Transit).
-Improvements to the Binghamton Rail Yard as part of a $40 million intermodal freight rail expansion based at the Port of Oswego.
The Southern Tier will also see funding for infrastructure improvements. $1 billion is included in the final budget for road and bridge repair, and an additional $438 million for local highways, roads, and bridges from the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS). Local municipalities will also have the chance to apply for $5 million dollar grants from a $200 million allotment to improve water and sewage systems statewide.
Post-budget, a number of issues will now be seen as priorities for the remainder of the legislative session. Assemblywoman Lupardo plans to advocate for a reduced emphasis on testing as part of the new teacher evaluation system that will be created by the State Education Department, continued infrastructure improvements, and mandate relief for school districts, municipalities, and small businesses.