After Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislators passed the state’s $168 billion budget on Saturday, March 31. It was determined that $200,000 of the budget would be granted to the Village of New Paltz’s emergency services.
The $200,000 in state aid is to help offset costs associated with emergency service calls to SUNY New Paltz. Village Mayor Tim Rogers said that this idea was first proposed a couple of years ago.
“We first requested this in 2016, after other SUNY communities such as Oneonta and Cortland, received similar assistance from the state,” Rogers said.
Additionally, Oneonta and Cortland each received $200,000 from the state in a State Senate budget resolution that was approved on March 14, 2016 and adopted by Gov. Cuomo on April 1, 2016 according to the Village of New Paltz’s website.
The original idea for Oneonta and Cortland to receive assistance comes from the proposed SUNY Impact Aid legislation that was first proposed in the state legislation in 2015. The purpose of the bill is to “Mitigate the fiscal challenges faced by New York municipalities that host four-year SUNY residential institutions and the accompanying large college student populations.” The bill (S.03967-A/A.01920-A) has since been amended and the senate bill is sponsored by Sen. James Seward, R-Oneonta. The Senate version of the bill currently sits in the Finance Committee as of January 2018.
One of the co-sponsors of the senate bill is Sen. John Bonacic, R-Mt. Hope. Bonacic advocated for the Village of New Paltz to receive state funding.
“I’m pleased that this year’s budget includes this funding for the Village of New Paltz, who serve as a host community for SUNY New Paltz,” Bonacic said in a press release. “While hosting a SUNY institution adds economic vitality to a community, there is still financial stress on the host municipality, including in its policing. These needed funds will help the Village defray some of the public safety costs they incur on a daily basis.”
The Assembly version is sponsored by Barbara Lifton, D-Ithaca, and has been referred to the Ways and Means Committee as of January 2018. Rogers mentioned how one of the co-sponsors of the assembly bill reached out to him and expressed support for the bill.
“Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, reached out with a letter to show his support for the proposed bill,” Rogers said. “The office of SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian also reached out to express their support this past summer.”
If the SUNY Impact Aid legislation were to become a law, it would take effect immediately and payments towards the aid for four-year SUNY schools would be made before or on July 1, every year.
While Rogers mentioned that the review for how the $200,000 will be spent in the Village was not on the agenda for the April 11 Village board meeting, he added that the topic will be discussed in future meetings.