ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With roughly two weeks to go until the New York State budget deadline, lawmakers have been hard at work.
When it comes to the state budget process, the governor proposes his own budget and then both the Assembly and the Senate put forth their own one house resolutions and negotiations continue, until ultimately the budget is completed.
This week, both the Assembly and Senate put forth their resolutions. With the state to receive $9 billion dollars for K-12 education from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan, Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh explained what the governor has proposed.
“He basically wanted to make cuts in state funding to education, and then say it was gonna be back filled by the federal monies coming in. Which I don’t agree with— but the one house budget proposals both rejected that kind of process or way of looking at it, and just said that the federal money coming in needs to help address some of the specific COVID impacts that school districts have faced, that’s the whole point of the federal incentive package,” stated Walsh.
She said the money should be put towards COVID impacts schools have faced, which she adds, is the purpose of The American Rescue Plan. This federal money will not be recurring.
“We don’t want to have a one time, big dollar amount go to a school district, they spend it and then they are jumping off the cliff. We are doing everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen,” said Senator Neil Breslin.
The Ballston Spa School District just recently learned how much federal money it could be receiving, however at this point, there has yet to be guidance on how the money can be spent.
“Our projection from Senator Schumer’s office today, came in at a little over $3 million dollars, now if we have a number of years to spend that money down on those targeted pieces that we are sure will be in guidance at some point, that’s helpful for us because we can plan for that,” explained Superintendent Ken Slentz.
Slentz said important to make sure it’s used in a way that benefits both the school and the taxpayers in the long run. Once the state budget is passed, schools like Ballston Spa, can better plan their own budgets. As of right now, the New York State budget is expected to be on-time come April 1st.
“The legislature is coming together in a way,” said Breslin. “I haven’t seen it in years.”