February 7, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Southern Tier Regional Highlights of the FY 2018 Executive Budget

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Southern Tier Regional...

Executive Budget Keeps Southern Tier Soaring – Includes $53 Million Investment to Construct a Route 434 Greenway and the Creation of a State-of-the-art Southern Tier Welcome Center

Major State Investments – Including $250,000 to Help Relocate Gunlocke from Indiana to Steuben County; $2.5 Million to Upgrade the Anchor Glass Plant in Elmira; $1 Million to Expand the Cameron Manufacturing Headquarters in Chemung County and $3.2 Million to Support the Development of the Roxbury at Stratton Falls Hotel in Roxbury – Will Create and Support Over 880 Jobs in the Southern Tier

Establishes First-Ever Industrial Hemp Summit at Cornell University

Under Governor’s Tuition-Free College Proposal, 5,578 Families in the City of Binghamton and 25,588 Families in the Southern Tier Region Would Be Eligible

Governor Highlights More Than $3.69 Billion in Strategic Investment in Southern Tier Since 2011

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a number of regional highlights for the Southern Tier as part of the proposed FY 2018 Executive Budget. The Budget builds on the state’s fiscal discipline over the last six years while strengthening the middle class, reducing taxes, and making smart investments in New York's future. For the seventh consecutive year, the Budget is balanced and holds spending growth below two percent.

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By investing $53 million to construct a Route 434 Greenway between Binghamton University and the downtown region, investing to grow the high-tech and manufacturing industries in the Southern Tier to support over 880 new and existing jobs, and launching the first-ever industrial hemp summit at Cornell University, the Executive Budget builds on key accomplishments and keeps the Southern Tier region moving forward for decades to come. More information on the FY 2018 Executive Budget is available here

"This year’s budget will drive growth across the Southern Tier by helping the middle class and advancing our progressive values, all while continuing our record of fiscal discipline. From making college more affordable and revitalizing our infrastructure, to cutting the cost of prescription drugs and doubling the child care tax credit, the budget drives smart economic growth and generating opportunity throughout the region,” Governor Cuomo said. “These sweeping investments will grow good-paying jobs, improve access to high-quality education, and protect our environment – creating a brighter, stronger Southern Tier community for all.”

Highlights of the FY 2018 Executive Budget Include: 

  • State Operating Funds spending is $98.06 billion in FY 2018 – an increase of 1.9 percent. (State Operating Funds exclude Federal funds and capital).
  • All Funds spending is $152.3 billion for FY 2018.
  • Increases Education Aid by $1 billion for a total increase of 4.1 percent, including $961 million for School Aid, bringing the new School Aid total to $25.6 billion.
  • Increases State Medicaid spending under the growth cap (3.2 percent) to $18.3 billion.
  • Invests $163 million to make college tuition free for middle-class families at SUNY and CUNY, including 25,588 families in the Southern Tier region.
  • Caps price of prescription drugs sold to Medicaid by state review board at no cost.
  • Expands Buy American provisions to all procurement over $100,000, protecting our state’s manufacturing and construction sectors.
  • Invests $2 billion over five years for the Clean Water Infrastructure Act – building on the $279.3 million the state already provided for water infrastructure in the Southern Tier since 2015.
  • Supports New York’s middle-class families by doubling the New York State Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.
  • Begins Middle Class Tax Cut for six million New Yorkers – saving households $250 on average next year and $700 annually when fully effective.
  • Extends tax rate on millionaires – 45,000 taxpayers impacted, 50 percent of whom are non-residents. In Broome County, a tax for 103 millionaires could be used to fund a tax cut for 108,650 middle class families.
  • Continues 2 percent property tax cap, saving New York homeowners $16 billion, including $617.9 million in the Southern Tier– with the typical homeowner saving $2,100.
  • Investments in infrastructure are paving more than 10,200 miles of roads and repairing 2,650 bridges across New York, including $358 million for roads and bridges in Broome County, and $249 million for the City of Binghamton.

$53 Million to Build the Route 434 Binghamton Connector Greenway 

The State will invest $53 million to construct a new Greenway along Route 434 in Binghamton. The project will create a 2.5 mile separate, multi-use bike and pedestrian path parallel to the existing roadway. The new 434 Binghamton Connector Greenway will connect Binghamton University and surrounding communities with the city’s downtown. The project will include other strategic improvements, including intersection improvements, roundabouts and the removal of several bridges to create increased safety and access for pedestrians, bikers and motorists.

“These sweeping investments will grow good-paying jobs, improve access to high-quality education, and protect our environment – creating a brighter, stronger Southern Tier community for all.”

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Developing State-of-the-Art Southern Tier Welcome Center

Last year, New York opened the Long Island Welcome Center – featuring the state’s largest Taste NY store and immersing visitors in regional history, guiding travelers to new destinations and showcasing New York’s world class food and beverage products. As tourism and agriculture are critical drivers of New York’s economy, the state is bringing the success of the Long Island Welcome Center across New York.

Under the Governor’s FY 2018 Executive Budget, New York will build a new state-of-the-art Broome Gateway Visitors Center. The Welcome Center will immerse visitors in regional history, guide travelers to new destinations and feature locally-made products. The center will be located north of Pennsylvania on I-81 and will feature I Love NY Kiosks with videos and directions to the Southern Tier’s renowned tourism destinations, as well a Taste NY gift shop showcasing products from across the Southern Tier.

The new Southern Tier Welcome Center is expected to open in fall 2017. 

Eliminating the Cap on Industrial Hemp Farming and Hosting the First-Ever Industrial Hemp Summit 
Hemp farming has great economic potential, but in New York, hemp framing is currently capped at 10 farms. Building on the success of the State’s Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program that launched in 2016, the Governor has proposed to amend legislation to further grow the industry and authorize farmers to work with the state to conduct hemp research as an agricultural commodity. The Governor is proposing to eliminate the cap on industrial hemp farming to build on the region’s agriculture and manufacturing and help the Southern Tier become a leader in the hemp farming industry.

In addition, the Governor will host the first-ever Industrial Hemp Summit in the Southern Tier to bring manufacturers, farmers, researchers and other stakeholders together to identify challenges and opportunities to grow the industry and boost the agricultural economy throughout the state. The event will be held at Cornell University.

Major State Investments to Create Jobs, and Grow High-Tech and Manufacturing Industries in the Southern Tier:
To grow the high-tech and manufacturing industries in the Southern Tier, the Governor also announced state investments to create 163 jobs and support more than 700 jobs throughout the Southern Tier.

  • $250,000 for The Gunlocke Company to Relocate from Indiana to Steuben County and Create 110 New Jobs:  The Gunlocke Company, an office furniture company, will relocate production facilities for two of its lines – Hon and Paoli – from Indiana to its location in in the Southern Tier. The 115-year-old office furniture manufacturer will reconfigure existing space and add new infrastructure to its operations in Wayland, Steuben County to make room for the planned expansion. That growth will allow the company to hire up to 110 new full-time employees, and will mean the retention of 601 jobs.

To encourage Gunlocke to move the production lines from out of state to the Southern Tier, Empire State Development has offered incentives totaling up to $250,000 which will help fund the purchase of new machinery and equipment in return for job commitments at the plant over the next five years. The Steuben County Industrial Development Agency and New York State Electric and Gas Corporation also offered the company incentives to ensure the project would move ahead.

  • $2.5 Million to Upgrade the Anchor Glass Plant in Elmira to support 307 New and Existing Jobs: The state will invest $2.5 million for Anchor Glass to upgrade its Elmira manufacturing plant, creating eight new jobs and retaining 299 existing jobs. The project includes re-bricking of Elmira Furnace 2 and modernization of forming and inspection equipment in order to maintain competitiveness and retain employment in the Southern Tier.
  • $1 Million to Expand the Cameron Manufacturing Headquarters in Chemung County to Support 264 New and Existing Jobs: The state will invest $1 million to allow Cameron Manufacturing, a leading producer of metal fabrications, custom machinery, and engineering services to consolidate two off-site facilities and expand its headquarters in Chemung County. The expansion will create 39 new jobs and retain 225 existing jobs. The investment will allow for the purchase of an additional 250,000-300,000 square-foot facility to consolidate two off-site leased locations, creating production efficiencies and facilitating expansion over the next five years.
  • $3.2 Million to Support Development of the Roxbury at Stratton Falls Hotel and Support 200 Jobs: To accommodate growth in upstate tourism, the state will invest $3.2 million to support the development of the Roxbury Stratton Falls Hotel in Roxbury, New York. The investment will create six full-time jobs for the specific project and support an additional 200 ancillary jobs. Masserson Holdings, Inc. will rehab a 5,700 square feet of a federal mansion into seven themed guest rooms. The redevelopment will construct eight new themed tower cottages, equipped with amenities and a scenic waterfall trail, and will expand on the internationally acclaimed Roxbury Hotel tourism destination.
Governor Cuomo Announces Southern Tier Regional Highlights of the FY 2018 Executive Budget

Investing in the Upstate Revitalization Initiative and Regional Economic Development Councils
Since 2011, the state has awarded the Southern Tier $980 million through the URI and REDC initiatives in a competitive process to spur job creation and drive economic growth based on regional priorities. This includes $480 million in REDC awards and $500 million in URI funding since 2010. As a result, the unemployment rate is 5 percent, down from 8.5 percent, and 6,000 new jobs have been created in the Southern Tier over the same period. The Executive Budget includes core capital and tax-credit funding that will be combined with a wide range of existing agency programs for a seventh round of REDC awards totaling $750 million.

Driving Economic Growth and Revitalizing New York’s Infrastructure
The FY 2018 Executive Budget continues Governor Cuomo’s focus on revitalizing New York’s economy, creating well-paying jobs and investing in key capital projects in the Southern Tier. The Governor is also delivering on his historic commitment to revitalize New York State’s infrastructure, and in partnership with public authorities, and local and federal governments, the state is moving forward with $100 billion in transformative projects across New York.

Increasing Access to Higher Education
Governor Cuomo proposes making college tuition-free for New York’s middle-class families at all SUNY and CUNY two- and four-year colleges. New York’s tuition-free college degree program, the Excelsior Scholarship, is the first of its kind in the nation and will help alleviate the crushing burden of student debt while enabling thousands of students to realize their dream of higher education. Under the program, tuition-free college would begin immediately for students of families making up to $100,000 annually, and phase in over the next two years to those making $125,000 annually. Once fully phased in, the program is estimated to cost $163 million per year.

Under the program, 25,588 (81 percent) of families in the Southern Tier and 5,578 (83 percent) of families in the City of Binghamton will be eligible.

Enabling Access to Ridesharing Across New York State
The current limitations on the availability of ridesharing services has meant that millions of New Yorkers are not only missing out on an alternative form of transportation, but thousands more are being prevented from pursuing new flexible job opportunities as rideshare drivers.

The FY 2018 Executive Budget authorizes Transportation Network Companies, such as Uber and Lyft, to operate throughout the state and creates uniform licensing requirements.

Delivering Real Property Tax Relief and Relieving Local Government Mandates
New York residents face some of the highest property tax burdens in the nation. In New York, a typical homeowner pays 2.5 times more in property taxes than what they pay in state income taxes.

Since taking office, Governor Cuomo has focused on fighting this burden by capping property taxes, improving local government efficiency and restructuring distressed local governments. The FY 2018 Executive Budget continues 2 percent property tax cap, saving New York homeowners $16 billion, including $617.9 million in the Southern Tier – with the typical homeowner saving approximately $2,100.

Governor Cuomo has also made mandate relief a priority and has eliminated dozens of burdensome requirements for local municipalities. After decades of local government calls for change, the Governor implemented reforms to the binding arbitration process for police and fire unions which require these panels take into account a municipality's ability to pay certain local contracts. Additionally, the Governor’s reforms to the state’s pension system are saving the state, local governments, and school districts more than $80 billion over the next 30 years.

  • Countywide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plans Initiative: The FY 2018 Budget continues the Governor's efforts to relieve the property tax burden by proposing a new initiative for voter-approved county-wide shared services plans. Counties will be required to work with the other local governments contained within their county, as well as with the community and civic leaders, to develop these plans. The plans must generate real, recurring savings for taxpayers by eliminating duplicative services and proposing coordinated services to enhance purchasing power, such as sharing expensive transportation or emergency equipment. Taxpayers will then vote on these cost-saving plans in a referendum in the November 2017 general election.

In Broome County, there are 196 local governments that use 347 dump trucks, 65 road building machines, 60 power shovels, 82 utility trucks and 31 office buildings. In the Southern Tier, there are more than 230 local government chief executives and more than 180 local legislators.

Implementing Buy American Act
Each year, New York State spends billions of dollars on the procurement of goods and services. However, existing regulations place little emphasis on ensuring this spending power is leveraged to support all American manufacturing, many which are right here in New York State.

Under the Governor’s “Buy American” plan, all state entities will be required to give preference to American-made goods and products in any new procurements more than $100,000. This measure would implement the nation’s strongest mandate for the purchase of American-made products by state entities.

Curbing the Cost of Prescription Drugs
The Governor’s Executive Budget continues efforts to control the rising cost of prescription drugs. In Medicaid, gross prescription drug costs have grown by $1.7 billion or approximately 38 percent over the last three years. The Governor is therefore advancing a three-point plan to protect consumers and taxpayers from the health and economic consequences of the rapidly rising cost of prescription drugs. The comprehensive plan includes:

  • Creating a price ceiling for certain high cost prescription drugs reimbursed under the Medicaid program by requiring a 100 percent additional supplemental rebate for any amounts in excess of a benchmark price as recommended by the DOH’s Drug Utilization Review Board. The plan will also limit year-over-year price increases for generic drugs paid for by the Medicaid program.
  • Imposing a surcharge on high-priced drugs when they are sold into the state. The proceeds collected from the surcharge will be reallocated to insurers to lower insurance premiums for New Yorkers the following year so the cost is not passed on to consumers.
  • Regulating Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) to protect consumers and ensure that PBMs are not contributing to the rising costs of prescription drugs through unfair business practices.

Combating the Heroin Epidemic
In 2016, the Governor signed into law a comprehensive plan to end the heroin and opioid epidemic in New York State. The FY 2018 Budget builds on this progress by investing $200 million to support prevention, treatment and recovery programs targeted toward chemical dependency, residential service opportunities, and public awareness and education activities.

The Governor’s plan includes the following measures:

  • Eliminate prior authorization requirements to make substance use disorder treatment available to all. 
  • Add fentanyl analogs to the New York controlled substances schedule to subject emerging synthetic drugs to criminal drug penalties.
  • Increase access to life-saving buprenorphine treatment by recruiting health care providers to become prescribers.
  • Establish 24/7 crisis treatment centers to ensure access to critical support services.
  • Require emergency department prescribers to consult the Prescription Monitoring Program registry to combat “doctor shopping."
  • Create New York's first recovery high schools to help young people in recovery finish school.

Enacting the Clean Water Infrastructure Act 
The FY 2018 Executive Budget initiates an unprecedented investment in clean water programs, increases capital funding for environmental and recreational facilities, maintains historic funding levels for the Environmental Protection Fund, and continues state funding for core environmental, parks and agricultural programs.

To ensure that current and future New Yorkers have access to clean water, the Budget initiates the $2 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act. Funded at $400 million per year over five years, this historic investment will support critical drinking water, wastewater, and source water protection initiatives. This builds on the $279.3 million the state has already provided for water infrastructure in the Southern Tier since 2015.

Continuing the Trend of Fiscal Responsibility
Under Governor Cuomo, New York’s finances have made a dramatic turnaround since the depths of the recession and the preceding high-spending eras. Before Governor Cuomo took office, the annual State Budget grew faster than income 60 percent of the time (or three out of every five budgets), and spending over the entire period grew at an average rate of approximately 7.0 percent, compared to income growth of 6.2 percent. With the adoption of the two percent spending benchmark, the unsustainable trend has been reversed. The FY 2018 Executive Budget continues this trend of fiscal responsibility and builds on the Governor’s commitment to expand opportunity and grow New York’s economy.

  • State Spending Growth Held Under 2 Percent For Seventh Consecutive Year: The Executive Budget holds annual spending growth in State Operating Funds to 1.9 percent.
  • State’s Outstanding Debt Set to Decline for a Fifth Straight Year: State-related debt outstanding will have decreased during this administration from $56.4 billion in FY 2012 to $50.8 billion by the end of FY 2017. This will be the fifth consecutive year the State’s outstanding debt level has declined.
  • New York’s Credit Rating Has Improved: The state now has its highest credit rating since 1972.
  • General Reserves Increased: Another planned deposit of $150 million will bring reserves to $2.5 billion – highest levels on record.
  • Spending for State Agency Operations Held Flat: Since the Governor took office, Executive State agency operating costs have essentially remained flat through ongoing state agency redesign and cost-control efforts.
Contact the Governor's Press Office