Local
5:56 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

New state budget includes financial aid boost

WBFO's Chris Caya reports

College students and businesses have something to gain from the recently enacted state budget. One area lawmaker says the local economy should benefit, as well. 

Higher education gets a boost in the 2014 budget, passed on Monday. There is more funding for the State University of New York and private colleges and for the first time in 14 years, an increase in the Tuition Assistance Program. 

Assemblymember Sean Ryan says there is also funding to provide a free education to students who major in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math. 

Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

"That's a real recognition of where the jobs in our economy are, and we try to do two things with that program. One is to feed our students into the engineering and math programs. But we also acknowledge that these students could also upon graduation easily go out of state for these jobs. The hook is you have to stay for five years to become eligible for this," Ryan said Wednesday. 

The Buffalo Democrat says the maximum TAP award will increase by $165. And in an effort to provide jobs for graduates, Ryan says Albany has eliminated the corporate income tax.  

"Now we're going to put the challenge back on manufacturing. You claim that one of the reason's you're not expanding in New York State is because of the income tax. You claim that one of that one of the reasons you're not growing is because of the income tax. Well, we're going to challenge you now. Our income tax is down to zero and we expect to see manufacturing continue to grow in western New York," he added. 

To further stimulate economic development and job growth, Ryan says the new state budget also delivers the final $680 million of the original Buffalo Billion.