Assemblyman Jones: Assembly Budget Proposal Delivers on North Country Priorities

March 13, 2019

Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay) announced that the 2019-20 Assembly state budget proposal includes measures to restore critical funding for local governments, infrastructure repairs, and increase investment in local schools.

 “The Assembly budget proposal invests in our hardworking families and ensures the critical programs that millions of New Yorkers rely on can continue to provide resources and support,” said Jones. “As we continue negotiating with the Senate and the executive, I’ll make sure our North Country communities get their fair share of state funding in the final budget.”

The Assembly proposal restores the executive’s proposed $59 million cut in funding to Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM), for a total of $715 million. These cuts would cost North Country towns and villages over $5 million in state support, which could force local governments to consider cutting vital services or raising property taxes. [1]

To help ensure local students have the resources they need to learn and grow, the Assembly plan provides $28.4 billion in education funding, an increase of $1.6 billion – or nearly 6 percent – over the previous year and $644 million more than the executive proposal. Foundation Aid would be increased by $1.16 billion for the 2019-20 school year for a total of $18.9 billion, which is $823 million more than the executive proposal.

“Our students deserve the very best, from pre-K through graduation day,” said Jones. “Our budget proposal ensures that North Country students receive a comprehensive education that nurtures and challenges them.”

Additionally, the Assembly budget proposal allocates $438.1 million for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs) and $39.7 million for the Marchiselli Program to help repair and replace New York’s aging roads and bridges. To address the large number of potholes that have appeared in local roads during this winter, the Assembly’s proposal includes an additional $65 million in CHIPs funding for Extreme Winter Recovery.

I also strongly advocated and was successful in removing an executive proposal to close up to three prisons in the next year from the Assembly budget proposal. North Country communities have already seen three prisons close and hundreds of good-paying jobs lost in the past decade, [2] and any further closures could devastate the local economy, noted Jones, who’s strongly opposed the proposal since the governor announced it last month.
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[1] northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/37881/20190122/governor-s-budget-cuts-5m-in-aid-to-north-country-towns-villages

[2] wcax.com/content/news/Are-prison-closures-on-the-horizon-in-New-Yorks-North-Country--506061501.html