ALBANY, NY (WENY)--GOVernor KATHY HOCHUL UNVEILED HER $233 BILLION BUDGET PLAN BACK IN JANUARY. THIS WEEK LAWMAKERS IN ALBANY PRESENT THEIR BUDGET PRIORITIES, INCLUDING EDUCATION—AN AREA IN THE BUDGET BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS PUSH BACK ON.  

THE GOVERNOR SEEMS TO STAND STRONG ON HER PLAN.  

“I’m open to all ideas but I know where I stand on these issues,” said Hochul. 

HOCHUL’S EDUCATION BUDGET PLAN PROPOSES CHANGES TO FOUNDATION AID—THE STATE’S MAIN EDUCATION OPERATING FORMULA AND A PRIMARY SOURCE OF STATE FUNDING FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS. 

HOCHUL’S CHANGES TO THE FORMULA INTEND TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR POORER SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND MODERATE THE IMPACT OF ENROLLMENT DECLINES.

MANY LAWMAKERS HAVE SAID THIS CHANGE WILL RESULT IN SIGNIFICANT BUDGET CUTS FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS AROUND THE STATE.  

“If the Governor’s provisions would have went through as she proposed it would be absolutely devastating to our local school districts. More than half of my school districts were proposed losing significant amounts of funding,” said Assembly Member Phil Palmesano (R-Corning).

IN THEIR BUDGET PROPOSALS THIS WEEK, BOTH THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY REJECT THESE CHANGES AND PROPOSED $1 MILLION TO STUDY THE FOUNDATION AID FORMULA. 

“We really do need a comprehensive look at our foundation formula, and it will inform us going forward,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-35th Senate District).

THE MAJORITY LEADER SAid IN THE MEANTIME, FOUNDATION AID NEEDS TO BE FULLY FUNDED.  

DESPITE OPPOSITION ON THE ISSUE, SOME LEGISLATIVE LEADERS SAid THEY ARE CONFIDENT GOING INTO NEGOTIATIONS. 

“The Governor understands where we’re coming from, we kind of understand where she’s coming from, I think we’ll land in a good place,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Assembly District 83).

THE FINAL BUDGET IS DUE IN A FEW WEEKS ON APRIL 1.