Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy:
Proposed funding for elementary and secondary education. The Assembly Resolution will propose an allocation of $25.4 billion in School Aid, which is an unprecedented increase of $2.13 billion, or 9.2 percent, over the 2015-16 School Year (SY). This is the largest increase in school aid since the 2008-09 SY. The Assembly proposal reflects an additional $1.2 billion over the Executive Proposal.
Included in this increase is $1.1 billion dedicated to Foundation Aid, which is funding 25 percent of the State’s total obligation of $4.4 billion for our neediest districts pursuant to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. The Assembly proposal also includes a final installment of $434 million to fully complete the restoration to the Gap Elimination Adjustment.
Community Schools. An additional $100 million has been included for Community Schools Aid for school districts with struggling schools, for a total of $200 million. Community schools take a holistic approach to educating students by acting as community hubs and offering wrap around services including academic, health, mental health, social services and afterschool programs to students and their families. The concept also aims to increase parent and community engagement with the ultimate goal of boosting educational outcomes for students in our neediest areas.
Libraries. After a tremendous amount of advocacy efforts, $10 million is proposed for capital grants for public library facilities and $5 million for Library Aid.
My Brother’s Keeper. The proposal also includes $50 million, $42 million in education funding and $8 million in higher education funding, to implement My Brother’s Keeper which is a program targeted at improving outcomes for boys and young men of color.
Pre-K. The Assembly proposes $807 million in funding for prekindergarten, an increase of $22 million over last year. It also provides a five-year financial assistance program for school districts offering new full day kindergarten.
English Language Learners. School districts with growing enrollment of students who are English language learners would be eligible for $10 million in new funding statewide.
Career and Technology Education. An additional $20 million would be provided for Career and Technology Education Programs through special services and BOCES aid.
The Assembly resolution also includes critical education funding for the following:
+ $15 million, an increase of two percent, for special act school districts and 853 schools;
+ $14.3 million for Teacher Resources and Computer Training Center funding;
+ $4 million for professional development of teachers;
+ $1 million restoration for Adult Literacy Education; and
+ $1 million increase for Bilingual Education services.
Afterschool funding. For the first time in many years, funding for Advantage Afterschool program will increase significantly by $7 million over last year.
Funding for retirement communities. The Assembly will continue to honor its commitment to New York State’s aging population by restoring funding for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC) and Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NNORC). In addition to renewing $951,000 in funding, the Assembly’s SFY 2016-17 budget proposal includes an additional $2 million to expand these important community based programs. For additional information on NORC additions, read here via the Assembly website.
Funding for heroin prevention and abuse. In an ongoing effort to address the crisis in heroin and opiate abuse, the Assembly’s recommends $30 million to improve and expand prevention and treatment services for those battling heroin and opioid addiction, including $15 million to ensure underserved communities have access to quality, affordable care.
Funding for childcare. The Assembly will propose an investment of $83.7 million to support new child care subsidies, afterschool care, facilitated enrollment, and child care centers at SUNY and CUNY campuses. Under the Assembly’s proposal, $75 million would be allocated to support the creation of 10,000 new child care slots with priority consideration for homeless families.
Support builds for Indigent Legal Services. The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) released a fact sheet in support of a bill (A-6202B) that I introduced earlier this year along with Sen. DeFrancisco, addressing the need for the State of New York to assume the cost of indigent legal services (#ILSNY), which is now imposed on the counties. Read more via the Rockland County Times.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This Saturday, March 12 marks one of the most anticipated weekends in the Capital Region – Albany’s St. Patrick’s Day parades. Two of the city’s traditional parades, the North Albany Limerick Day Parade and the Albany St. Patrick’s Day Parade, will be kicking off at Noon and 2 p.m., respectively.
A new addition this year is the Irish American Family Festival, hosted by the Irish American Heritage Museum, will include live music, step dancing, Irish goods vendors, and much more for the family in the afternoon. The festival will be held in Academy Park across from Albany City Hall from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
More information regarding the parades, including road closures and viewing stands, can be found here via The City of Albany.
Mascot Day at the Capitol. This week marks the annual “parade” of mascots making their push for the respective colleges and universities. These unique lobbyists, with their furry paws and large beaks among other features, make for an interesting sight here in the halls of state government. The University at Albany’s Damien the Great Dane took time out of his busy schedule (especially in supporting UAlbany basketball) to stop by my office to meet with my staff and me.
Deadline approaching: register to vote for the Presidential Primary. New Yorkers must register to vote by March 25 in order to cast ballots in the upcoming presidential primaries on April 19. Residents looking to register to vote, or to change their enrollment information, can do so easily by using the state’s online voter registration service on the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles’ website.
By following a few simple steps, New Yorkers can easily sign up for a secure MyDMV account and register to vote or access a variety of other services like updating party enrollment or a home address. To create an account, individuals must use their New York State driver license, permit or non-driver ID, last four digits of their Social Security Number, and the ZIP code currently listed on their driver license, permit or non-driver ID record. Upon completion, DMV sends the voter registration applications to the County Board of Elections for action. New Yorkers can use the New York State Board of Elections’ website to check their voter registration status.
To register to vote, a New Yorker must:
+ Be a United States citizen.
+ Be 18 years old by December 31 of the year in which you submit the form (note: you must be 18 years old by the date of the general, primary or other election in which you want to vote).
+ Live at your present address at least 30 days before an election.
+ Not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction.
+ Not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court.
+ Not claim the right to vote elsewhere.