Cuomo proposes $137B state budget; spends 2% more

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing a $137 billion state budget that would increase spending about 2 percent without increasing taxes.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing a $137 billion state budget that would increase spending about 2 percent without increasing taxes.

It includes some fee hikes for New Yorkers.

Cuomo's budget proposal to the Legislature provides 4.4 percent more aid to schools.

Municipal aid outside New York City is proposed to stay level, at a time when many counties and smaller local governments worry they could become insolvent.

Cuomo proposes to suspend the driver's license of people with big, overdue tax bills. He also would make it harder to plea down some speeding charges to avoid bigger fines and insurance premium hikes.

The budget also provides some creative funding of Cuomo's school reforms including longer school days.

The Citizens Budget Commission sees the proposal as responsible, without a big bite on New Yorkers.

The budget would also include closing two prisons in Downstate New York.
The Governor's proposed budget at a glance:

-Total proposal: $136.5 billion

-Total growth: 1.9 percent over last year

-A projected deficit of $1.35 billion, which Cuomo says he will address through a variety of cost-cutting measures and some revenue measures.

-$35.9 million to implement and administer his gun control law, including registration of assault weapons, re-registering of pistol permits, new databases to keep track of guns, and defensive and safety measures at schools including their entrances.

- A 4.4 percent increase in school aid.

-Make it harder for drivers to plea bargain traffic tickets to avoid stiffer fines and higher auto insurance premiums. Cuomo says the state loses $58 million in plea bargain. He also proposes additional surcharges on speeding tickets.

-Suspend the driver's license of anyone who owes more than $10,000 in overdue taxes.

-$974 million in savings by efficiencies in government.

-"Innovation Hot Spots" in which business and higher education seek new spinoff businesses to spark job growth. The state will provide $5 million in tax breaks over five years to winning proposals.

-$55 million in competitive grants for State University of New York campuses and another $55 million for City University of New York campuses to spur local economies and job growth.

-Continue a five-year plan to increase public college tuition annually to raise $300 million a year.

-Stipends of $15,000 a year for four years for top teachers and a new competency test for teachers.

-Impose higher penalties for unstamped cigarettes and other measures to crackdown on the illegal sale of cigarettes that avoid state taxes, which are the highest in the nation.

-Close the Bayview prison in Manhattan and the Beacon prison in Dutchess County to save $18.7 million this year and $62 million next year at a time where the state has more prison beds than prisoners.

-Increase the minimum wage to $8.75 from $7.25 effective July 1. Cuomo says that would pay 705,000 New Yorkers an additional $1 billion a year.

-$1 billion over five years to fund affordable housing for lower income New Yorkers by preserving and creating 14,300 units statewide.

-$25 million for more pre-Kindergarten programs aimed at low-income districts and $20 million to pay school districts that choose to increase their school day or academic years by at least 25 percent.

-$85 million for the Thruway Authority to eliminate the need for a highly unpopular toll increase on trucks.
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