ALBANY, NY ( WKBW ) Lawmakers meeting again in Albany Tuesday in an effort to bring the ongoing state budget battle to an end, but as of late Tuesday evening, there was no agreement in sight. A major hold up is the SUNY Empowerment Bill that would give SUNY schools more power over tuition and their finances.
Opponents of the bill believe the measure would put many kids out of reach for a SUNY education. The bill actually hit the senate floor Tuesday afternoon and was expected to be voted on, but was shortly withdrawn since supports felt they could not get the 32 votes to pass. While this is a major setback, local lawmakers vow to keep their stance on the bill, since it is vital for the UB 2020 Project. UB 2020 boasts the creation of thousands of jobs, the expansion of the University at Buffalo, along with creating a world-class university.
"We've all worked hard over the last five years to get this thing passed," said State Assemblyman Jack Quinn. "We're going to continue to make sure this thing happens and we know that the budget not being passed puts us in a great spot to ensure we can get enough votes to pass the bill."
In addition, Governor Paterson issued this statement on budget activity in Albany Tuesday.
Statement from Governor David A. Paterson on the Passage of a Property Tax Cap
ALBANY, NY (08/03/2010)(readMedia)-- "New York currently holds the dubious distinction of having the highest property taxes in the nation. The crushing burden on New Yorkers is astounding. New York State's local taxes are 79 percent above the national average, and outside of New York City, 62 percent of property taxes are school property taxes. Nine of the top ten highest taxed counties in the nation are in Upstate New York, and include Wayne, Niagara, Monroe, Erie, Chautauqua, Onondaga, Cayuga, Chemung and Schenectady Counties. When calculated in terms of taxes per household, residents of Nassau, Westchester and Rockland Counties count themselves in the nation's top ten. Property tax levies are rising at more than twice the rate of inflation and salary growth. Hardworking New Yorkers deserve better.
"Today, in a bipartisan vote of 51-8, the Senate joined with me in taking the first significant step toward easing the burden on property taxpayers across the State. I applaud Conference Leader John Sampson, Minority Leader Dean Skelos and the entire New York State Senate for passing legislation to provide New Yorkers a much-needed and long overdue property tax cap. This property tax cap would ensure real, sustainable property tax relief that New Yorkers need now more than ever.
"But this relief will not become a reality until my proposal has passed in the New York State Assembly. I am calling on Speaker Sheldon Silver and the entire Assembly to join with me and the Senate and make the property tax cap law. It is time to put taxpayers above the special interests by bringing the tax cap to the floor for an up or down vote. Unfortunately, because the Assembly failed to take up this legislation today, I will be forced to consider using my executive authority to call for another Extraordinary Session so that this critical issue can finally be debated by both houses of the Legislature."
The budget 4 months overdue, one of the longest in state history.