ALBANY -- New York’s Senate and Assembly will try to shift $200 million from a proposed schools incentive program back to traditional school aid when they release budget resolutions Monday, a legislative leader and a legislative official said this week.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed setting aside $250 million in his 2012-13 budget for competitive grants to be awarded to schools that show improved instruction or innovation, which could then be shared with other schools.
But Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said his chamber will recommend using $200 million of that for traditional school aid. That would mean most of the $800 million total in school funding, a 4 percent increase over last year, would be disbursed as usual to the 700 school districts statewide.
A legislative official familiar with the talks said the Assembly’s Democratic majority will make the same recommendation.
The official says the Assembly Democrats would prefer to see how the new incentive program works before making such a large commitment. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the Assembly resolution won’t be released publicly until Monday.
Cuomo had no immediate comment.
The Senate and Assembly majorities’ budget resolutions will counter Cuomo’s $132 billion proposal and negotiations will then continue. An agreement is due by the April 1 start of the fiscal year, but lawmakers believe they can pass a budget around March 21, a stark contrast to decades when most budgets were late.
“I don’t think there really is a reason why we can’t wrap up this budget within a week,” Skelos said.
Both chambers are also expected to try to block a Cuomo proposal to give the governor more flexibility to transfer state funds among agencies after a budget is passed by the Legislature. Cuomo says that’s needed to find efficiencies and save money.
Some lawmakers called it a power grab.