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Budget deal reached in NY State Legislature

Ridesharing, free college tuition included in deal
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Posted at 9:50 PM, Apr 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-07 22:17:07-04

New York State lawmakers reached a 2018 state budget deal Friday evening.

The budget allows ride sharing to operate in the entire state, not just New York City.  That means cities and towns across Western New York have the ability to operate services like Uber and Lyft.

Within minutes of the budget deal announcement, Uber released a statement.

“Hey, New York - your Uber is arriving this summer! Thank you to Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for working hard on a compromise that will bring more transportation options to the Empire State," Uber Tri-State General Manager Josh Mohrer said.

Assemblyman Michael Kearns told 7 Eyewitness News he is "very excited" about the development.

"For far too long we haven't had this service," Kearns said in a phone interview.

Other measures in the 2018 budget include:

  • Free public college tuition for families making up to $125,000
  • Increase of education aid by $1.1 billion
  • Charter schools to receive funding increases at the same rate as public schools (initial adjustment in 2017, 2018)
  • Enhancing the Middle Class Child Care Tax Credit
  • Raising the age of criminal responsibility from 16- to 17-years old beginning on October 1, 2018, and subsequently raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18-years old on October 1, 2019
  • Providing $2.5 billion for the Clean Water Infrastructure Act
  • Give direct care workers a 6.5% raise over the next two years

Governor Andrew Cuomo calls this the most aggressive budget he has ever put forth.

Prior to Friday's agreement, talks had broken down because legislators could not agree on a number of sticking points. Opponents criticized Cuomo for passing a budget extension last weekend, instead of completing a budget deal.

"This was the hardest budget. It was also the best budget," Governor Cuomo said.

The budget still requires approval by the Assembly and the Senate.