Vol. XIV, No. 5
TO: NYS Association of Small City School Districts
FROM: Robert E. Biggerstaff, Esq.
DATE: March 29, 2000
RE: State Budget 2000-2001 (Education)
Negotiations over the State Budget have reached a stalemate for the moment. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had insisted on a "veto proof" budget, i.e., one over which Governor Pataki agrees not to exercise his line item veto power, but the Governor has resisted this suggestion. Now, however, it appears that the road block is in the Senate, where frosty relations with the Governor have impeded progress on the issue of tax cuts. With the two Houses and the Executive reasonably close in over all dollars and with the State's surplus as ample cushion, if this issue could be settled, the Budget could come together quickly.
Charles Winters, who is now a consultant to the Association, has developed a chart comparing the Assembly and Senate Budget Resolutions (attached). While the Assembly proposal is significantly higher than the Senate's overall, the two are very close in certain respects, e.g., operating aid, operating standards aid, ENA, BOCES aid and private excess cost aid. Critical to most small city districts, of course, is how much and how additional dollars are driven through the operating aid formula. The Association has advocated a major reworking of the transition aid cap which would benefit most small city districts either now or in the longer run. Enclosed find our memo on this which we encourage you to share with your Legislators. Also, enclosed is an Assembly analysis/comparison of the Assembly and Senate Budget Resolutions.