THE BRONX - After missing the April 1 deadline, lawmakers passed the $131.1 billion state budget Friday.
Lawmakers, including state Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr., said the budget combines federal stimulus money, tax hikes on the rich and program cuts to fill New York?s $17 billion budget gap. Diaz believes the Bronx will see funds for more than 20 organizations, totaling more than $1.4 million.
?For the first time ever, the rich are paying an equal share, and the poor are not suffering as much,? Diaz says.
According to Diaz, the budget will also provide funds for zoos and the Botanical Gardens, among other cultural programs and organizations. Among the organizations receiving money is the Bronx AIDS Services, which was allotted $100,000.
Lawmakers are expected to return to Albany next week to discuss the Metropolitan Transportation Authority?s recently proposed fare hikes and service cuts to fill in the MTA?s $1.2 billion budget deficit. If lawmakers can find the money, officials say the MTA may be able to roll back the fare hikes.