This is an approximately $168 billion spending plan that offsets a nearly $4.5 billion deficit. The budget proposal closes the deficit gap with revenue increases, maintaining the 2% cap on state spending, holding aid to localities flat, a more modest increase in aid to schools than anticipated and various cuts in health care and other areas.
Taxes, Fees and Revenue
The proposal includes well over $1 billion in revenue enhancements. The budget authorizes an across the board reduction of 3% in the event tax receipts during the fiscal year are less than anticipated ($500 million or greater shortfall). Various public assistance, health care and education programs are excluded.
- $500 million in health insurance conversions
- $140 million in a new health insurance windfall fee, offsetting the federal tax cuts on health insurance companies
- Closes the carried interest loophole, contingent on reciprocal action by bordering states
- $127 million from a surcharge on opioids
- $82 million in deferred business tax cuts
- $75 million in internet conformity taxes for sales
- Increases the maximum tax credit for the Youth for Jobs Program
- Caps the growth in the cost of the STAR program at 2017-18 levels
The Governor has proposed restructuring the state’s personal income tax system to offset the negative effects of the federal tax changes, which include the cap on state and local tax deductibility and the elimination of an exemption for single filers.
These scenarios include changing the personal income tax system to an employer payroll tax system and creating charitable funds to support various public programs and services. As details of these proposals become available we will provide updates and information about the impact on labor.
The Governor includes an expansion of design-build to several state agencies that currently are not authorized to utilize the alterative bidding method and would expand the types of projects eligible.
Education / Higher Education
School aid is increased by $769 million (3%), including a $338 million increase in foundation aid. Additional aid of $15 million for pre-K programs is included and both charter schools and non-public schools are increased by 3%.
- The budget proposes to expand the definition of allowable expenses that are considered in the calculation of rental assistance for New York City charter schools
- SUNY operating aid is maintained at $729 million and CUNY at $547 million
- There is a proposed $6 million cut in state community college assistance
- The proposal eliminates $78.6 million in state support for SUNY hospitals
- The budget includes the year two phase-in of the Excelsior Scholarship free tuition program at SUNY and CUNY for resident families with incomes up to $110,000
- Includes the DREAM Act, to allow undocumented children of immigrants to be eligible for state tuition assistance
- The Murphy Institute funding is reduced by $1.5 million
- The budget includes new financial control language for the SUNY Research Foundation and related SUNY and CUNY entities
- Medicaid spending is increased by $593 million in accordance with the Medicaid Global Cap
- Proposes a 2% cut for nursing homes ranked as lower performing
- Authorization for reductions in Child Health Plus funding is included in the event federal assistance is reduced
- Proposes an additional $425 million in Health Care Transformation Program
- Elimination of the COLA for employees of not-for-profit services for DOH
- The proposal allows for retail health practices in pharmacies, grocery stores or malls for treating common health ailments
- Authorizes certified nurse anesthetists to establish their own private practices
- Creates a spending limit on DOH purchases of pharmaceutical products and increases negotiating authority of DOH on drug prices
MTA / Congestion Pricing / Transportation Issues
The Governor includes an initial $836 million state share for operating and capital funding for the MTA Subway Action Plan and streamlines MTA revenue. Funding for the DOT capital plan is maintained.
- The proposal increases the lowest responsible bidder threshold for the MTA when contracting for goods, services or public work
- The budget includes a proposal to extend the law that allows the testing and operation of autonomous vehicles for 1 year and removes the requirement that state police be present
- The proposal caps Medicare Part B reimbursement for NYSHIP enrollees and ends the state’s reimbursement on additional Medicare premiums for higher income retirees
- Proposes to close the Ella McQueen intake center in OCFS
- Includes language to allow for the hiring of term appointments for information and technology positions without an initial civil service exam
Local Government Employees
- The budget includes $225 million in state share assistance for local governments that have instituted shared services plans
- Establishes a health insurance consortia to assist local governments in pooling their costs to increase leverage in health insurance purchasing power
- Includes several proposals to remove barriers on shared services and consolidation of zoning functions and justice courts
- AIM assistance is maintained at $715 million
A package of criminal justice reforms is proposed, including bail reform, procedural reforms to reduce delays in the court system.
- The budget eliminates the parole supervision fee
Miscellaneous Labor Issues
Secure Choice Savings Retirement Plan – The Governor proposes the creation of a voluntary retirement savings program in NYS Deferred Compensation Board for private sector employees. The program would operate like a Roth IRA and in accordance with Roth IRA contribution limits (currently $6,000 annual max) and would set up a comprehensive plan to allow individual employees to contribute through a payroll deduction plan. Contributions are not pre-tax but generally, withdrawal of contributions can occur at any time tax and penalty free, while withdrawal of earnings would be tax and penalty free at age 59 1/2.
State Insurance Fund Investments – The proposal would allow SIF to have broad discretion in the types of securities that it is authorized to invest in.
Office of Workforce Development – Proposes a new Office of Workforce Development to consolidate and serve as a focal point for all workforce training programs for the state.
Consistent Wage Reporting Between State Agencies – This proposal will require quarterly reporting of wage data by employers to both the Department of Labor and the Department of Taxation and Finance.
Labor Programs – The NYS AFL-CIO is working with affiliates to support the Workforce Development Institute, Child Care Facilitated Enrollment, the Cornell Union Leadership and Domestic Violence programs as well as the Cornell Worker Institute.
Economic Development / Energy
- Clean Water Infrastructure Act – The budget proposes continued funding for municipal drinking water and waste water infrastructure projects.
- Renewable Energy Projects – The proposal includes bonding authority for the New York Power Authority to develop and support renewable energy projects across the state.
- Proposes a comprehensive sexual harassment reform package
- Would enact Roe v Wade into state law
- Would enact various health care initiatives to reduce and eliminate disparities in health coverage as well as to provide for maternal support and contraceptive coverage
- Proposes to eliminate firearms from domestic abusers
- Adds “sex” as a protected class in the constitution
Election Law Changes & Ethics Proposals
- Early voter and automatic voter registration
- Includes statewide public campaign finance system
- Closes the LLC Loophole that allows multiple and unlimited donations to elected officials
- Creates and advisory panel on outside income of elected officials
- Creates a Chief Procurement Officer
- Implements reforms at SUNY and CUNY Foundations, including the Research Foundation