O’Mara: Many Victories In The State Budget

April 1, 2015

ALBANY, NY – State Senator Tom O’Mara says the new budget includes stronger commitments to local schools, infrastructure and broadband development, and enhanced assistance to key economic sectors including agriculture.

O’Mara felt that there were several achievements in this year’s budget.  “I’m especially pleased that we’re establishing a stronger state commitment to delivering effective treatment to our veterans who’ve returned home from the battlefield and are suffering from the devastating effects of Post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s been a personal mission of mine to get behind efforts to provide our military men and women with effective treatment. This year’s additional state support will make a difference for many veterans and their families and loved ones in New York State and nationally.”

Other accomplishments that O’Mara noted were in the budget,  include the following:

$177 million for the Environmental Protection Fund

A $200-million “Water Quality Infrastructure Improvement” fund

$500 million for a “universal broadband” program to expand high-speed Internet availability to currently unserved and underserved regions, especially rural regions Upstate.

a $50-million increase in funding for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS)
an $1.4 billion in general state support for public schools

an approximately six percent increase bringing total aid to schools

reducing the amount that would not go to local schools, because of the Gap Elimination Adjustment

increasing community college base aid by $100 per full-time equivalent student (FTE), resulting in a $13.8 million aid increase for community colleges statewide, including Corning, Tompkins Cortland and Finger Lakes;

$400 million in capital projects funding for Upstate rural hospitals;

$14 million for teacher centers;

funding of $800,000 for the Research & Recognition Project for soldiers suffering from PTSD