State officials announce budget deal


Last night, legislative leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that they were near an agreement on the 2013-14 budget.

Details were few at the time of their press conference, which is embedded below. However, the governor's office just sent out a press release with more information. Included in the budget is:
· An approximately $1 billion increase in education aid.
· An increase in the minimum wage. Over the next three years, the wage would increase from $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour.
· Rebate checks for middle-class homeowners with children. Homeowners will get $350 as long as they have at least one dependent child and make between $40,000 and $300,000.
· Initial funding for 10 Innovation Hot Spots, essentially high-tech incubators affiliated with colleges and universities.
· A $50 million Innovation Venture Capital Fund to invest in companies translating research into marketable products.
· A provision establishing "a bar exam for teachers." Under the agreement, the budget would include a list of education initiatives and reforms, many of which were included in Cuomo's executive budget proposal.

The press release is available here, and includes more information on what's in the budget.