News from the Associated Press - January 21, 2014

Associated Press
January 21, 2014

Cuomo to release his NY budget proposal

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to present a budget proposal detailing how he will pay for a broad program of tax breaks while maintaining funding for schools, health care and infrastructure.

The governor will release a budget proposal to the Legislature in Albany on Tuesday afternoon that is expected to top $136 billion. Cuomo and state lawmakers will try to maintain their three-year streak of reaching a final budget deal by the start of the state fiscal year April 1.

Cuomo says his budget will usher in three years of projected surpluses if lawmakers hold spending growth below 2 percent.

The governor says that New York can provide tax relief and increase investments in education, health care and economic development, even with the spending cap.


NY education advocates seeking more school aid

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo has received no shortage of suggestions about the amount of school aid to include in his budget proposal. Among them is a $1.9 billion increase supported by more than 80 lawmakers.

The governor will release his 2014-15 budget proposal on Tuesday. His previous two budgets have increased spending by roughly 4 percent.

School districts say those increases haven't been enough to offset reductions of previous years, leaving them with less funding now than in 2008-09.  Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli last week said 13 percent of school districts statewide are considered fiscally stressed.

The Board of Regents has recommended a $1.3 billion school aid increase for next year. A coalition of administrator and parent groups hopes for $1.5 billion.


Arctic cold settles in over upstate NY for week

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Upstate New York communities are preparing for bitterly cold weather this week by opening extra shelters and warming centers.

In Buffalo, Albany, Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs, Code Blue programs have been activated. The program provides emergency shelter for the homeless when the temperature falls below 10 degrees, either with or without wind chill.

The National Weather Service says a long-duration arctic outbreak will continue through the week, producing wind chill values below zero most nights.

The weather service predicts temperatures falling to zero to 5 below Tuesday night in western New York, with wind making it feel like 15 below.

Central and eastern New York are also under wind chill watches or advisories.


NY Gov. Cuomo plans to protect student borrowers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to establish a watchdog group to protect students from predatory lenders.

The so-called Student Protection Unit, expected to be detailed in the governor's budget proposal Tuesday, would keep an eye on student loan companies and other financial firms.

An administration official, who wasn't authorized to detail plans in advance and declined to be identified, says it will be dedicated solely to protect New York students from being ripped off.

It's expected to issue subpoenas to 13 student debt relief companies Tuesday about potentially misleading ads and improperly charging fees to enroll in programs available free from the federal government.

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