This is the fourth segment of a five-part series summarizing and explaining the New York State 2003-04 adopted budget.
The New York State Fiscal Year 2003-04 adopted budget provides $17 million, including plus $2 million for Nassau, in new revenue sharing funds for counties to offset costs of local programs and help keep property taxes under control. The following is a brief description of the impact of the budget on local governments:
The SFY 2003-04 Legislative Budget restores over $1 billion in education cuts.
The Legislature's rejection of the pharmacy swap will maintain current levels of hospital share funding for the counties at 25 percent, saving Nassau County - as well as Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan and Westchester - a combined $23 million.
Restorations of all the proposed nursing cuts will hold harmless county-operated nursing homes.
The Legislature partially restores Overburden aid to counties for $25 million. In addition, the Legislature fully restores public health funding.
The Legislature included $35 million, including more than $1 million for Nassau County, for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, which is aid to local governments for their highway and road projects.
The Legislature restores $74 million for community college base aid to both community colleges outside of New York City and CUNY. This restoration equals last year's level of $2,300 per full-time equivalent student.
The Legislature's enacted budget includes $100 million in capital projects funds for expedited deployment funding of enhanced wireless 911 service costs associated with local wireless public safety answering points. This funding will enable localities to accelerate their plans to create tracking systems that would be able to pinpoint the location of emergency calls from cell phones.
The Legislature rejected the proposal to increase the local share for state matching programs from 25 to 30 percent for programs for senior citizens, saving localities $3.5 million in SFY 2003-04.
The Legislature restores $2.3 million of the $3.3 million that had been cut for the administration of the Empire Zone Program.
The final segment of Senator Hannon's five-part series on the State Fiscal Year 2003-04 Adopted State Budget will focus on tax cuts and revenue.