Saturday, April 8, 2017


   State Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda today called the final budget numbers hammered out for school funding in the city and across the state "Good news for our children."

The $25.6 billion funding agreement, which came in the final hours of extended budget talks in Albany, will see statewide education spending grow by $1.1 billion, while taxpayers will continue to see their support for schools capped at 2 percent.

"This new budget will mean an additional $386 million for schools in the Bronx and the rest of the city," said Assembly Sepulveda. "That's good news for our children, especially in the Bronx where many of our schools in poorer districts are struggling to provide decent education."

Sepulveda noted that the delay in finalizing a state budget has also put pressure on school districts to put together their own spending plans, not knowing what funding will be coming from Albany.

"We can now get on with the business of giving our children the education they deserve," said Sepulveda.
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Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, a member of the Assembly Committee on Correction, hailed the breakthrough in Albany budget negotiations that will bar 16- and 17-year olds from being tried as adults.

     "This is an historic reform in the criminal justice system," Sepulveda said of the legislation, known as the Raise the Age bill.

     Once signed into law by Governor Cuomo, as expected, it will leave North Carolina as the only state in the nation that tries 16- and 17-year olds as adults.

    "And that state is now working to change the law, hopefully by the end of this year," the Assemblyman noted.

    "We've been arguing with a host of other legislators that medical and psychological evidence overwhelmingly points to adolescents in this age range lacking the judgmental and other skills when it comes to criminal behavior," said Sepulveda.

   "Throwing them in - and that's what it is - with adult offenders can damage them almost irreparably, and turn many into hardened criminals," said Sepulveda.

    "It can also leave a stigma on those convicted of non-violent crimes who will find themselves struggling to get ahead in life, for a job, for school or an apartment when they have a criminal record. This bill allows them, at some point, to apply to the courts to have their criminal record sealed," he noted.

   "This legislation will go a long way to curb a number of serious issues and hopefully save young lives."

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