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Capitol Bureau

An upstate business group is pleased with some portions of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2017 agenda, especially a plan to expand ride-hailing services.

Unshackle Upstate’s Greg Biryla said he’s relieved that there are no major proposals that would adversely affect employers this year, like last year’s minimum wage increase and requirement to provide paid family leave.

Matt Ryan New York Now

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is proposing new income tax brackets on New York’s wealthiest, with a top tax rate of over 10 percent on those making more than $100 million a year.

The new tax brackets proposed by Assembly Democrats would raise rates on those making more than $1 million a year, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo has outlined in his budget.

But new, higher rates would apply to those who make more than $5 million and $10 million, with a top bracket of 10.32 percent for New Yorkers who earn more than $100 million a year.

More than a decade after the state’s highest court ordered New York lawmakers to spend billions more a year on schools, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his top aides are moving further away from ever fulfilling the order, critics say.

The New York Court of Appeals ruled in 2006 that many of the state’s schoolchildren were deprived of their constitutional right to a “sound, basic education” and that billions more needed to be spent on schools each year.

Matt Richmond WSKG

President Donald Trump revived the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access pipeline with a highly publicized executive order this week. In New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has quietly acted to further energy pipelines across the state.

The leader of the Senate Republicans said he’s not happy with what he said is over $800 million in new taxes and fees tucked away in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new state budget.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said he’s upset over about new proposed fees that a preliminary analysis shows total $803 million – with $250 million in new Department of Motor Vehicles fees alone.

Flanagan said he’s also not happy with the way Cuomo presented his spending plan to lawmakers. He said Cuomo failed to mention all of the new fees in a private briefing at the executive mansion.

One of the chief arguments over the state budget will be whether to renew an income tax surcharge on New York’s wealthiest.

The state is facing a $3.5 billion deficit, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to add a billion dollars to the state’s public schools. He also wants to offer free tuition at public colleges for families making less than $125,000 a year.

Cuomo said continuing the tax surcharge — known as the millionaires’ tax — is the simplest way to finance all that.

“Frankly we don’t have the resources to lose the millionaires’ revenue now,” Cuomo said.

Governor Cuomo's office

One of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature economic development programs is being downsized in his new state budget. Start-Up NY is being rebranded as other economic development projects have suffered setbacks.

The Start-Up NY program — which offered 10 years of freedom from income, business and other taxes to companies that sought to begin a business on a college campus — initially was a centerpiece of Cuomo’s big plans for more jobs in upstate New York.

NPR

School funding advocates are concerned that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is setting up for another political battle over school aid next year in a little-noticed provision in his new state budget.

Tim Kremer is with the School Boards Association, one of the groups worried about Cuomo’s proposal to end what’s known as the foundation aid formula in 2018. The formula was set up to address a decade-old court order known as the Campaign for Fiscal Equity that said the state was underfunding schools by billions of dollars.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget is not just facts and figures about what taxes to collect and how to spend them. Cuomo also has put unrelated changes into the spending plan — everything from allowing ride-hailing services to expand in the state to enacting ethics reforms.

From allowing Uber and Lyft outside of New York City to imposing term limits on lawmakers, the governor’s budget includes many items that normally would be considered policy changes and debated and approved in the regular part of the session.

Some state lawmakers are rejecting a proposal in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget plan that would extend a tax on millionaires.

Cuomo spent Tuesday rolling out his spending plan to individual groups of lawmakers in private briefings; he released details to the public that night.

The governor fulfilled the state’s constitutional deadline to release his budget to the public, but just barely, opting for an evening unveiling of the $152 billion spending plan.

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