New York Governor Andrew Cuomo held a ceremonial budget signing in Harriman Hall on the University at Buffalo South Campus Tuesday in front of a few hundred invited guests.
The state legislature passed the 2013-2014 spending plan last week, before the April 1 deadline. Cuomo highlighted the fact this is the first time since 1984 the state has had three consecutive on-time budgets. He also touted the tax cut that some families will receive in 2014.
The governor said the 2013-2014 spending plan includes a tax cut for some families and businesses and an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour. Under the legislation the raises will be paid for by taxpayers, not businesses, which Cuomo said was a compromise.
"The fear of raising the minimum wage was that you would hurt businesses and if you hurt businesses, you accomplish nothing. So, as part of raising the minimum wage, we provide assistance to businesses for what's called a training wage," Cuomo said.
Cuomo dismissed critics who claim the $350 rebate checks are an attempt to ensure reelection.
"We want to do tax cuts and the time to do the tax cuts is next year, and next year is an election year. If you want to say to people that they're not going to get a tax cut because it's an election year, you tell them. I'm not," Cuomo said.
The tax cut is expected to benefit about 100,000 western New Yorkers.