Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Local Governments Committee Chair William Magnarelli announced the Assembly's 2017-2018 SFY Budget provides funding support to programs that benefit local governments, including a $50 million increase above the Executive's 2017-2018 SFY Budget for both the Aid and Incentive to Municipalities Program (AIM) and the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS).
The Assembly budget proposal boosts the Executive's $715 million in AIM funding to $765 million and CHIPS from $438 million to $488 million, and it rejects all of the Executive's forced municipal consolidation proposals.
"The Assembly budget recognizes that municipalities throughout the state, despite their many significant financial difficulties, have nevertheless persevered and continued to provide the people of our state with the essential services they depend on," said Speaker Heastie. "The $50 million in additional AIM and CHIPS funding included in our budget will give some measure of financial relief to localities and help them to better meet the needs of their residents."
"Local governments around the state are financially stressed, and they have faced a range of difficult fiscal challenges, including an arduous tax cap, failing infrastructure and not receiving an increase in AIM funding for the last eight years," said Magnarelli. "The AIM funding boost in our budget will help municipalities maintain a quality of life for the communities they serve."
AIM Program History
Heastie and Magnarelli noted the Assembly's 2017-2018 SFY Budget rightly continues the ability of local governments to use at their discretion funding from the AIM program, which was established in the 2005-2006 SFY Budget in order to provide towns, villages and cities outside of New York City with unrestricted state aid.
Also included in the Assembly's fiscal proposal is $123,000 in AIM funding for those localities that were established after AIM's creation: the Village of Mastic Beach, $75,000; Village of Sagaponack, $2,000; Village of South Blooming Grove, $19,000; and Village of Woodbury; $27,000.
Gaming Revenue Restoration
The $2.25 million cut in the Executive budget to the gaming revenue shared with local governments is restored by the Assembly in order to continue the distribution of local gaming aid at current levels. The proposed reduction is comprised of $1.4 million from commercial gaming casinos, $600,000 from tribal casinos and $250,000 from video lottery terminal facilities.
Title XX Funds Restored
The $27 million reduction in Title XX Program funding included in the Executive budget is also restored by the Assembly fiscal plan, which rejects the Executive's requirement that the program's funds be used exclusively for child care. The Assembly also reinstates the original discretionary purpose of the Title XX funding for local social service districts.
Assistance for State's Capital City
The City of Albany would receive $12.5 million in additional local government assistance from the Assembly budget to provide fiscal support for the many tax exempt state properties within the state capital city's boundaries.
Emergency Communication Modernization Grants
To help counties upgrade and modernize their emergency communication systems, the Assembly budget proposal establishes $15 million in new grant money for the installation and development of the next generation of 911 technologies, and provides another $100 million in grant funding over five years.