Governor Cuomo Announces Details Of Fiscal Year 2018 State Budget Extender

Authorizes $16.4 Billion in New Capital Appropriations to Advance Priority Infrastructure, Economic Development and Environmental Projects.

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NY Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Photo by: Pat Arnow, licensed under CC-BY ASA 2.0 Generic.

Albany, NY – April 4, 2017 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the passage of the FY 2018 State Budget Extender, which funds all government operations through May 31 and advances key priority infrastructure, economic development, and environmental projects across New York. The Budget Extender also secures $2.5 billion to ensure access to clean, drinkable water for all New Yorkers, protects the state’s most vulnerable from the soaring cost of prescription drugs, and increases direct care professional salaries 6.5 percent over the next two years. 
Over the next two months, the state expects to spend $24.6 billion, which includes the general fund, aid to localities and school districts, special revenue, capital projects, and debts service. The Extender also authorizes $16.4 billion in new capital appropriations to advance critical economic development and infrastructure projects.
FY 2018 Extender Investment Highlights
Fully Funding New York’s Transportation Capital Program
The FY 2018 Budget Extender continues New York State’s historic investments in the transportation system, which are improving our roads and bridges, increasing mobility, and supporting economic growth. The Budget Extender reflects the third year of the $55 billion transportation capital plan, which is enhancing and expanding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) network, and improving roads, bridges, airports rail facilities, ports and transit systems. 
The FY 2018 Budget Extender also continues the state’s record commitment to funding local highway and bridge projects. Funding for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) and the Marchiselli program is maintained at last year’s level of $477.8 million. The Budget Extender also continues $100 million in highway aid through the PAVE NY program. 
Protecting New Yorkers from the Soaring Cost of Prescription Drugs 
Under the FY 2018 Budget Extender, New York is the first state in the nation to cap the growth of prescription drug spending in its Medicaid program, which has grown 25 percent over the past three years. The agreement provides the Department of Health with a range of tools to lower the cost of prescription drugs, including the ability to drive down the cost of certain drugs whose price is high relative to its therapeutic benefits‎. This unpreceded agreement enables the Medicaid program to allocate more resources for other essential health services and ensure high-quality care across New York State.   
Increasing Direct Care Professional Salaries
The Budget Extender includes a landmark agreement that will provide New York’s 120,000 direct care professionals with a 6.5 percent raise over the next two years. These increases will help state-funded non-profits that specialize in the care of vulnerable New Yorkers not only recruit and retain employees, but continue to provide the same level of excellent care that have made them the backbone of New York’s developmentally disabled and behavioral health system. 
Investing in Higher Education 
The FY 2018 Budget Extender continues the state’s record investments in higher education, providing nearly $1.33 billion in capital funding to SUNY, CUNY and private colleges in New York. The state’s higher education institutions educate over 1.2 million students. The State University of New York and the City University of New York administer 47 four-year colleges and graduate schools that provide more than 403,000 full- and part-time students with an array of undergraduate, graduate, and first professional educational opportunities. SUNY and CUNY also support 37 community colleges, serving over 324,000 students. In addition, nearly 520,000 students attend the more than 100 private colleges and universities across the state. Over the past 10 years, total enrollment at New York’s institutions of higher education has increased by 103,000. 
Providing Clean Drinking Water to All New Yorkers  
To ensure that current and future New Yorkers have access to clean water, the Budget Extender initiates the $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act, $725 million of which is available immediately. This investment will protect public health, safeguard the environment, and benefit New York’s economy. These funds will help local governments address water emergencies, pay for local infrastructure construction projects, underwrite land acquisition for source water protection, and investigate and mitigate emerging contaminants in drinking water. These projects will improve the quality and safety of municipal drinking water distribution and treatment systems, and wastewater infrastructure.
Safeguarding New York’s Environment for Future Generations 
  • Environmental Protection Fund: The Budget continues EPF funding at $300 million, the highest level in the history of the state. Appropriations include funding for solid waste programs, parks and recreation, open space programs, and the climate change mitigation and adaptation programs.
  • NY Parks 2020 Initiative: Building on the NY Parks 2020 initiative, which is investing $900 million to upgrade and repair our State Parks, the Budget allocates $120 million in New York Works capital funding – an increase of $30 million from FY 2017. This funding will aid the ongoing transformation of the state’s flagship parks and support critical infrastructure projects. The additional $30 million will target projects that will strategically leverage private funding to improve New York State Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation facilities and services.
  • Adventure NY Program: DEC will launch the Adventure NY program, which will improve access to State lands, rehabilitate campgrounds, and upgrade DEC recreational facilities. This new initiative will build on existing efforts and includes $70 million in New York Works capital funding, an increase of $30 million from FY 2017. This funding will also enable DEC to continue to address critical infrastructure needs, including dam safety and flood control projects.
Driving Economic Growth and Revitalizing New York’s Infrastructure 
  • Downtown Revitalization Initiative Round II: The Downtown Revitalization Initiative was created last year to fund transformative housing, economic development, transportation, and community projects to attract and retain residents, visitors, and businesses to downtowns. The first round awarded a total of $100 million to ten communities that are currently experiencing population loss and/or economic decline to develop revitalization plans for their downtown area, developed in collaboration with policy and planning experts. The FY 2018 Budget Extender expands this initiative by providing another $100 million for ten new communities, bringing the total program funding to $200 million.
  • Life Sciences Investment: The FY 2018 Budget Extender invests $300 million in capital funding as part of a $650 million initiative to grow a new, world-class life science research cluster in New York and expand the state’s ability to commercialize research and grow the economy. Through this multi-faceted initiative, New York will significantly increase its share of industry-funded research and development, support the commercialization of existing academic research, and usher in the next generation of advanced technologies. Beyond the advancements in science, this initiative will position New York to be a magnet for emerging manufacturing based enterprises, bolstering regional economies and creating thousands of jobs.
  • JFK Transformation: As part of the Governor’s plan to Transform JFK Airport into a 21st Century transportation hub, the Budget Extender invests $564 million toward reconstruction of the Kew Gardens Interchange and expanding capacity along the Van Wyck.
  • Bruckner-Sheridan Interchange Reconstruction: The Budget Extender includes capital funding to begin the $1.8 billion transformation of the South Bronx. The project will realize the long-sought reconstruction of the Bruckner-Sheridan Interchange, adding new capacity and constructing new access ramps to the Hunts Point Market. In addition, the Sheridan Expressway will be de-designated as an interstate and replaced with a boulevard design that is both pedestrian and cyclist friendly. The improvements to the Sheridan will tie neighborhoods together and give residents and visitors alike a direct connection to the Bronx River waterfront and Starlight Park which have been shut off to the community by the highway for decades.
  • Empire Station Development: The Budget Extender includes $700 million to support the development of the world-class Moynihan Train Hall with more space than Grand Central Station’s main concourse. The new hall will house passenger facilities for the LIRR and Amtrak, as well as feature 112,000 square feet of retail space and over 500,000 square feet of office space.
  • Kosciuszko Bridge Replacement: The Budget Extender includes $270 million in capital funding to support the Phase II replacement of the Kosciuszko Bridge. The new structure will consist of a new cable-stayed westbound bridge within the footprint of the existing structure.
  • Buffalo Billion Phase II: The Budget Extender allocates $400 million in capital funding toward the $500 million Buffalo Billion Phase II. Buffalo Billion Phase II will extend investment in Western New York to the neighborhood level and strengthen existing connections between downtown, suburban, and surrounding areas. Phase II will focus on revitalization and smart growth efforts, improvements to workforce development and job training, growing advanced manufacturing, tourism and life sciences, and connecting communities to foster growth through rail expansion.
  • Regional Economic Development Councils: Since 2011 the REDCs have awarded nearly $4.6 billion in state funding to over 5,200 projects through a competitive process to spur job creation based on regional priorities. Projects receiving funding through the REDC initiative are expected to create and retain 210,000 jobs in New York. The Budget Extender includes $150 million in capital funding that will be combined with a wide range of existing agency programs for REDC Round VII.
  • State Fair Modernization: The Budget Extender also provides $70 million in capital funding to continue modernizing the State Fair, which saw record attendance levels in 2016. This funding will be used to develop a multi-use, hybrid building to host events, build a gondola to transport visitors and concertgoers between the Fairgrounds and Onondaga County’s Lakeview Amphitheater, make parking improvements, and construct a new on-ramp to Interstate 690. This investment builds upon the $50 million included in the FY 2016 budget that has transformed the State Fair by creating a new Empire RV park, expanding the midway, improving Chevy Court, and restoring the main fairground gate.
  • Town of Woodbury Transit and Economic Development Hub: The Budget Extender supports the acceleration of the $150 million reconstruction project to build the Town of Woodbury Transit and Economic Development Hub. The project, which will create nearly 600 jobs, will overhaul a highly congested corridor that feeds the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, a regional economic engine.
  • Photonics Venture Challenge in Rochester: New York State will establish a $10 million, multi-year Photonics Venture Challenge in Rochester. This business competition aims to support start-up companies that commercialize these rapidly developing technologies through a business accelerator program. It includes a top award of $1 million to the most promising start-up company. There are currently no accelerator programs in the world with a photonics focus and the Rochester region is uniquely positioned to build a nationally recognized program.
  • I ❤ New York Welcome Centers: Modeled after the successful Long Island Welcome Center, the state will establish welcome centers – one in each region of the state – that feature an array of experiences including Taste NY, Path Through History, I ❤ New York and State Parks that highlight each region's tourism assets.
  • MacArthur Airport Connection: The Budget Extender invests $20 million to connect MacArthur Airport with the LIRR, as well as $40 million for infrastructure investments that will support economic growth, environmental sustainability and water quality in business districts in Smithtown and Kings Park.
  • Nassau Expressway Reconstruction: The Budget Extender includes an additional $130 million in new transportation funding to accelerate the reconstruction and elevation of a segment of the Nassau Expressway (Route 878) in Nassau County. The planned work will mitigate flooding and improve existing drainage, enhancing the safety and reliability of this busy stretch of road that carries 56,000 vehicles each day and serves as an Emergency Storm Evacuation Route for more than 400,000 people.
  • Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition: In FY 2017, the Governor established the $200 million Upstate Economic Development and Revitalization Competition. The competition includes $190 million to support airport projects and $10 million allocated through the Governor’s Aviation Capital Grant Program. In the first round, $40 million was awarded to Elmira Corning Regional Airport to activate the airport’s $58.4 million transformation, and $39.8 million in funding was awarded to the Greater Rochester International Airport to initiate a $53.7 million transformation.  In round two, Plattsburgh International Airport will receive $38.1 million to jumpstart the airport’s $43 million overhaul and Syracuse Hancock International Airport will receive $35.8 million towards their $48.8 million transformation. The bold plans and designs developed by these airports will enhance safety, improve operations and access, reduce environmental impact, and create a better passenger experience.
  • Amtrak Station in Schenectady Construction: The Budget Extender includes $15 million for the construction of a new passenger rail station, and improving the parking, lighting and landscaping, as well as the walkways leading to the Bus Rapid Transit areas on State Street and the new parking area on Liberty Street.
  • $32 Million Master Plan to redevelop Frontier Town into the “Gateway to the Adirondacks” at Northway Exit 29 in North Hudson

The Budget Extender includes $32 million to create a world-class tourism destination at the site of Frontier Town in the Adirondacks. The Master Plan for the Gateway to the Adirondacks includes:

  • A DEC campground and day use area along the Schroon River
  • Equestrian camping and trail riding area
  • Visitor Information Center to introduce visitors to the world class recreation destinations in the Adirondack Park
  • Event center with tourist accommodations
  • Interactive exhibits in historic structures highlighting the past, present, and future of the Adirondack forest products and local food industries. Additionally, Paradox Brewery plans to expand its brewing operations at the new Gateway location in 2017, as well as open a saloon offering a selection of New York beers and food. Paradox currently operates a tasting room at Schroon Lake. In order to encourage the expansion and creation of 22 new jobs, Empire State Development has offered up to $200,000 in performance-based incentives, including a grant and Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits.
  • $28 Million to Transform Gore, Whiteface and Belleyare Mountains: The Budget Extender includes $28 million in new capital funding to transform ORDA facilities. This includes $20 million enhance the current facilities at Gore and Whiteface Mountains, as well as $8 million in upgrades at Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, to create state-of-the art skiing, lodging, dining and retail opportunities and year-round activities.
  • $300 Million for Utica Hospital: New York State has awarded $300 million for the Mohawk Valley Health System to build a modern and efficient hospital in downtown Utica. This 392 bed, 750,000 square-foot world-class health care facility will replace the outdated and obsolete St. Luke’s Hospital Campus and St. Elizabeth Medical Center, further integrating the system of care in Oneida County. The new state-of-the-art hospital will offer emergency, acute inpatient, outpatient, primary care and other health care services in a single downtown location, improving the accessibility and quality of health care in the region. Mohawk Valley Health System’s project, awarded via competitive RFA, will strengthen the fiscal stability of the regional health care system, save taxpayer dollars, and bring thousands of jobs into downtown Utica.
  • $700 Million for Vital Brooklyn: The Budget Extender includes $700 million community-based healthcare capital investment as part of the Vital Brooklyn initiative. Under the Governor's plan, the State is targeting and investing in eight integrated areas, establishing a national paradigm for addressing chronic disparities, like systemic violence and entrenched poverty in high-need communities. The comprehensive plan will focus on increasing access to open spaces and healthy food, while transforming the healthcare system by increasing access and quality of health care services and preventive care. Vital Brooklyn will also create a stronger, more sustainable Central Brooklyn by prioritizing strategic investments in resiliency and affordable housing, as well as job creation, youth development, and community violence prevention.
  • $2.15 Million for Owasco Treatment Center: The Budget Extender includes $2.15 million toward the design, engineering, and construction of upgrades to the drinking water treatment systems in the City of Auburn and Town of Owasco. Both systems draw water from Owasco Lake, which recently has been impaired by cyanotoxins produced by harmful blue-green algae blooms.