Statement from Assemblyman Brian Curran (Lynbrook – 21st A.D.)
“The passage of the 2014-15 State Budget was bittersweet. With increases to education aid, library aid, non-public school aid, higher education assistance, Nassau County transportation aid, HEAP, tax cuts for manufacturers, and furthering the phase-out of the 18-a Energy Tax Assessment, to name but a few – it makes it difficult to oppose. This influx of aid will go a long way to help educate our children for the future, help families and assist businesses.
"While there were small victories, such as the changes to Common Core, which I helped lead the charge on with The APPLE Plan, introduced by my Minority Conference colleagues and I that would have further reformed education policy in the state, more needs to be done.
"Although there has been consistent public outcry over the 2010 Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) education cuts, and despite the allocation of additional funds to the GEA by the Legislature, it has not yet been fully restored. As long as the GEA exists, this will translate to inequitable allocation of state aid to Nassau County and school districts across the state.
"I voted for all budget bills with exception of State Operations and Public Protection and General Government. I cannot, in good faith, support a plan, even a pilot program, of taxpayer-funded campaigns for elected officials. This is a waste of valuable taxpayer dollars and a slap in the face to voters. To suggest that this would be 'reform' is ludicrous, especially as the program is modeled after one of the most corrupt political environments in the nation: New York City.
"We also should not be wasting taxpayer funds on the following: $385 million to state and municipal facilities programs (also known as the governor’s slush fund); $10 million to find out how much it will cost to build a Binghamton University Pharmaceutical School, which is not needed; and $23.4 million in bullet aid to only Majority members of the New York State Assembly (pork spending). Bullet aid institutionalizes the fact that every child in the state is not treated the same. It highlights the inequitable distribution of educational funds based on where a child lives and who represents them.
"I recognize that this budget is not the complete solution to every problem, but it is another positive step forward. In future years, I hope my colleagues will join me in resisting New York’s wasteful spending areas and make the bold decisions necessary to reform New York’s policies that have detrimental effects on our children and their futures.
"I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature as well as the governor to produce more of what is needed for the people of New York.”