MAKING COLLEGE MORE AFFORDABLE
Supporting Tuition Aid and Public Colleges:
The budget provides more than $1 billion for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and freezes SUNY and CUNY tuition this year. The new budget also boosts funding for SUNY and CUNY community colleges with an additional $20 million, increasing the full-time equivalent (FTE) funding for the state’s community colleges by $100 and making the base aid $2,697 per FTE for 2016-17.
Rejecting the Use of Taxpayer Dollars to Fund College Tuition for Illegal Immigrants:
The final budget rejects an Executive Budget proposal that would have cost state taxpayers $27 million and reward people who are here illegally by giving them free college tuition. The measure would have extended all other criteria, exemptions or opportunities found within the education law - including all scholarship and tuition assistance programs funded with state tax dollars - to illegal immigrants while hardworking middle-class families are already being forced to take out massive college loans to pay for higher education.
HELPING MEET THE HEALTH NEEDS OF NEW YORK’S FAMILIES
Paid Family Leave:
The budget initiates a new program to allow working New Yorkers to spend time with a sick family member or bond with a new child. That program will be phased-in over the next four years, and will include employees who have been in their current job for at least six months to provide protections and necessary financial resources so that family support can be available.
Family Health Initiatives:
The final budget restores millions of dollars in funding cut in the Executive Budget proposal for women’s and family health initiatives, among other programs. It includes $25.3 million for Cancer Services Programs; $26.3 million for Nutritional Information for Women, Infants, and Children; $9.7 million for chronic disease prevention (including diabetes, asthma, and hypertension); $5.5 million for Rape Crisis Centers; $2.3 million for the Prenatal Care Program; $9.65 million – a $1 million increase – for the Doctors Across New York Program and restores $25 million in Excess Medical Malpractice Coverage to recruit and attract physicians to underserved communities; and $1 million to support organ donation, among other programs.
Support for Seniors:
The budget will fully fund the state’s elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program at $131.5 million to help seniors with their prescription drug costs. To help protect vulnerable senior citizens, the budget includes $700,000 to support elder abuse prevention initiatives. Other highlights include $28.9 million for Community Services for the Elderly Program; $26.6 million for Alzheimer’s programs; $172,000 for the New York Foundation for Seniors Home Sharing and Respite; and $63,000 for the Senior Action Council Hotline.
SUPPORTING OUR VETERANS
The new budget continues the Senate support for the heroic service men and women who have sacrificed so much to serve our nation by including funding for programs including: $2.8 million for the Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer-to-Peer Program; $500,000 for the NYS Defenders Association Veteran’s Defense Program; $500,000 for the Veterans Outreach Center in Monroe County; $450,000 for the Veteran’s Mental Health Training Initiative; $200,000 for Legal Services of the Hudson Valley Veterans and Military Families Advocacy Project; and $200,000 for Warrior Salute, among other initiatives.
"Paid Family Leave - That program will be phased-in over the next four years, and will include employees who have been in their current job for at least six months to provide protections and necessary financial resources so that family support can be available."