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NY Legislature passes $140 billion budget; 4th consecutive on-time budget

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The New York State Legislature passed a $140 billion budget on Monday night that will expand universal pre-kindergarten for all children, increase tuition funding for charter schools and offer property tax relief to homeowners.

Lawmakers passed the bill — the state's fourth consecutive on-time budget under the same governor and legislative leadership — at around 10:30 p.m., just minutes before the deadline.

"This budget builds on the State's progress over the past three years in order to grow the economy and create new opportunities for New Yorkers and their families," Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement.

The budget includes a commitment to invest $1.5 million over five years to bring about the phase-in of a statewide universal full-day pre-kindergarten program — $300 million of which will fund universal pre-K in New York City — and increases tuition funding for charter school students by $1,100 over three years.

"With this 5-year commitment, we can now move forward to deliver truly universal pre-K," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement on Saturday. "We can add new high quality after-school programs and begin to address the challenges we face in our education system."

It also provides a $1.5 billion property tax credit to offer relief to New Yorker homeowners as well as an investment of $100 million to create 3,000 affordable housing units in multi-family developments.

Other notable passages include the authorization of a New York City shelter supplement program, $38 million to expand community mental health services, $3 million for the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Act and $15 million in capital resources to fund initial planning and development costs for a new College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity.

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