albanycapital120Senator Michael Nozzolio announced he has reintroduced his legislation, Senate Bill 512 in the New York State Senate and is leading the effort to end the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) once and for all in New York.

"Over the last several years, I have heard from hundreds of parents, teachers, school board members, school superintendents and administrators throughout my district, all with the same message; help us put an end to the disastrous Gap Elimination Adjustment," said Nozzolio.

The GEA was an unfair state aid cut to schools that was enacted in 2010 by the New York City legislators who, at the time, controlled the New York State Senate, the State Assembly and the Governor's office. This disastrous reduction in state aid to schools was instituted in 2010 as a way to close the enormous budget gap that New York faced as a result of millions of dollars in overspending that year. When it was adopted in 2010, Nozzolio spoke out against and voted against this ill-advised budget bill.  From its inception, the GEA has cost school districts all across Upstate New York millions of dollars in badly needed State aid for our schools.

The GEA has forced schools to choose between cutting programs vital to educational success and raising property taxes on local residents in these already challenging economic times.  This is a lose-lose proposition that puts a strain on both school districts and  local taxpayers.

As a result of a landmark settlement between the French Bank BNP Paribas and regulators at the State and Federal level, New York State will receive over $3 billion from BNP Paribas for their repeated violations of U.S. laws and sanctions.

Nozzolio's legislation would take $1 billion from the settlement and  totally eliminate the GEA. Nozzolio is also championing scheduled increases in state aid to help ensure that schools in Upstate New York can continue to provide the best education possible, all while easing the financial burden on local property taxpayers.

"Nothing is more important to me than our children's education," said Nozzolio. "We must continue to provide our young people with every opportunity to learn and succeed so they can compete in today's global marketplace. A great education is the key that can open the door to a bright future for our children, and I remain committed to eliminating the GEA as quickly as possible."

To date, Nozzolio's online petition to eliminate the GEA has received over 2,000 entries.