Senator Griffo Discusses Local Education Allocations in NY State Budget By Luke Perry
This morning state representatives for Central New York, Senator Joe Griffo (District 47) and Assemblyman Brian Miller (District 101), discussed the new state budget with Bill Keeler on Keeler in the Morning. (full interview here)
Senator Griffo was pleased the budget passed on time, which he believes is important for effective state governance. Griffo lauded the fact that tax increases, and most non-budget related policy, were left out of the bill.
Two local education pieces were discussed. New Hartford school district will be allocated approximately $733,000 to help address their nearly $900,000 budget deficit. This includes a $433,000 increase in foundation aid from the previous year and a one time $300,000 appropriation. New Hartford’s fiscal stress has become an issue in recent months.
Utica College (full disclosure: my employer) will receive a onetime appropriation of $300,000 and be eligible for additional state funding. Private colleges in New York have faced challenges resulting from the Excelsior Scholarship. Senator Griffo said Utica College did “a phenomenal thing” in terms of college affordability, lowering tuition to under $19,000 per year.
Griffo believes his seniority was helpful in advocating for local needs and interests in the budget, which passed over the weekend.
The bill also included gun reform that confiscates guns from owners convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, including assault, menacing, criminal contempt, or aggravated harassment of family or household members.
These individuals can challenge the surrender order through a hearing. Guns can be confiscated in the interim. The reform expands restrictions on convicted felons, who are already prohibited from owning firearms.
Assemblyman Miller opposed this reform, citing the need for more time to visit with District Attorney offices and Sheriffs throughout the region. Senator Griffo echoed this concern, stating “we don’t have enough information here.”
This story was updated April 3, 10:37am.
Luke Perry (@PolSciLukePerry) is Chair and Professor of Government at Utica College.