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State Assembly approves new budget, Senate acts Sunday

The State Assembly approved the new state budget Saturday. State Senators will convene at 5:00 Sunday afternoon to vote on budget bills.

Members of the local delegation to the State Assembly had a mixed reaction to the budget. Amherst Republican Ray Walter said he's pleased ride-hailing is finally coming to upstate New York. But he expressed disappointment at the absence of tax relief for New Yorkers.

“Each year’s budget negotiation comes with a healthy measure of give and take from both sides on many important issues, and this year has been no exception," Walter said.

Cheektowaga Democrat Monica Wallace said she's pleased the budget includes a second round of funding of the Buffalo Billion.

“Overall, I believe this budget contains many initiatives that will benefit the residents of my district and all of Western New York," Wallace said. "Nevertheless, there is far more work to be done. I will continue to fight for our region to ensure state government better serves us all.”

Local Assembly members were pleased that state aid to schools was increased.

The budget includes $26 billion in aid for the state's 700 school districts.

According to the Buffalo News, Buffalo schools will receive more than $632-million in state aid in 2017-18, an increase of nearly4.4 percent from last year. Lackawanna schools will see the biggest increase of any local district -- about 12.5 percent. 

A handful of districts will see their school aid decreased. Aid to City of Tonawanda schools will drop by more than four percent.