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State Budget Unveiled

A proposed $140 billion state budget is ready to be passed as Governor Cuomo and state leaders strike a deal.
A proposed $140 billion state budget is ready to be passed as Governor Cuomo and state leaders strike a deal.

All budget bills have been printed and this year's proposed $140 billion budget focuses on a few key factors. Property taxes in New York are some of the highest in the nation. This was big for Governor Andrew Cuomo and he's providing $1.5 billion in relief.

"I believe the single most transformative component of the budget is a property tax program," Cuomo said.

Assemblyman Joe Morelle was thrilled to announce $33 million has been included for a high tech science technology and manufacturing park in Batavia. The park, called STAMP, could create more than 10,000 jobs.

"Not only does it benefit Batavia, we're going to see researchers at the U of R and RIT and students who will go into fields have an enormous opportunity right at our doorstep," Morelle said.

Mark Peterson, President and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise, played a key role in getting this project off the ground.

"STAMP is a mega site that will now have the infrastructure necessary to attract major, multi-billion dollar nanotechnology companies to our region."

Rochester would also get $6 million to close a $28 million budget gap. Morelle says some of that money would support Mayor Lovely Warren's Project Operation Transformation which helps African-American men be successful after they've dropped out of high school.

"It really achieves two separate and important goals to address the poverty issues we continued to be troubled by and deals with the city's fiscal problems," Morelle said.

Cuomo says the second biggest piece of the budget is education, a $1.1 billion increase.

"Overall education funding goes up 5% , very general increase of about 5.3%."

The budget also builds upon the first ever state funded full day pre-kindergarten program, investing $1.5 billion over five years and improvements to Common Core.

"Standardized tests will take place this week and we wanted to make sure it was included in the budget so those tests, as they are being administered, will continue to be administered but it won't reflect on student's records at all," Morelle said.

Mayor Warren was asking for $100 million to be included in the budget for a theater in Rochester but Morelle says there is no funding for it in the budget.
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