The Independent Democratic Conference in the Senate today proposed “Affordable NY,” its 2014 legislative agenda that would invest $1.7 billion in programs and tax credits.
The IDC’s Leader Jeffrey Klein, D-Bronx, offered the plan at a event in his district, which includes part of lower Westchester County, Gannett’s Ashley Hupfl reports.
The four-member IDC shares control of the Senate with Republicans. They are the latest conference to outline their plans for the upcoming legislative session, which starts in early January.
“Heading into 2014, the Independent Democratic Conference will be championing the most critical needs of workers and retirees across New York. Our goal is to help the millions of middle class families who are struggling because of a slow economic recovery, a lag in essential services, and the skyrocketing costs of everyday life in New York,” Klein said in a statement.
The “Affordable NY” agenda would push for six weeks of paid family leave insurance along with lifting the state’s Temporary Disability Insurance benefit.
The IDC plans to seek $750 million over the next five years for affordable middle class housing, reinvesting the Mitchell Llama 2020 program. “Affordable NY” would also push to help stronger homeowner protection against foreclosure.
The 2014 agenda includes a “Study and Stay” tax credit that would allow eligible college graduates $5,000 a year for 10 years to invest in home ownership.
“Affordable NY” would increase college affordability by doubling the current limits on 529 savings accounts, allowing parents to lock-in present day tuition rates at public and private colleges in the state and plans to make up to $20k in college savings tax deductible.
“New Yorkers have always felt if they put in a hard day’s work, they will be rewarded with the ability to afford the American dream. Giving families time to raise a newborn and making college more affordable need to be priorities in the next legislative session,” Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, Rockland County, said in a statement.
The agenda calls for creating an education investment tax credit for public and private schools that would allow residents to make donations to local public and private schools tax deductible.
Other programs the IDC plans to support are providing $300 utility relief checks for seniors to help pay for rising gas, electric, and water bills, funding for childcare costs, and financial relief for commuters.
“Basic necessities like child care, housing, and utilities are eating up too much of every New Yorker’s paycheck. That needs to change, and Affordable NY is a comprehensive plan that helps us do exactly that,” Klein said.
The IDC offered these testimonials to make their case: