New York’s only Indian-American State Senator Kevin Thomas, lauds the new budget for including several of his initiatives relating to student loans, taxes, and transportation, all of which according to him, benefit his constituents in Long Island, N.Y.
In a press release April 1, Sen. Thomas noted that the $178 billion FY 2019 State Budget includes several items that he “fought hard to bring for Long Islanders.”
Thomas, 34, who represents the 6th District (Mid-Nassau) and defeated a long time Republican incumbent, was a civil rights attorney before running for office. He is among several new Democratic faces in the Senate that gives that party a decisive majority allowing for easy passage of bills in the upper house in Albany.
In the area of student loans, Thomas said, the Senate Majority believes all entities that service federal student loans should be licensed and regulated. All student loan servicers are required to obtain a license from the Department of Financial Services.
The language used in the new state budget is taken directly from Senator Thomas’ bill, a press release from his office said.
“The intention of this bill is to make sure the borrower is not harmed and that there is oversight,” Senator Thomas said. “This is all about the student borrower, they are vulnerable, and thisays bill will protect them from being victimized by deceptive lenders,” he added.
He was also pushing for more school funding, and the according to him, the Democratic majority in the State Senate secured a $1 billion dollar increase in school aid. “Senate District 6 received $599,697,700 in school aid funding, an increase of $30 million,” Thomas calculates.
On property tax, the Budget includes a permanent 2 percent property tax cap. This will save property taxpayers almost $190 billion over the next decade, Thomas contends.
For funding the Metropolitan Transit Authority, through enacting congestion pricing, monies to the amount of 10 percent of revenue generated is assigned to improving the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), Thomas says.
He also notes that the Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM) funding has been restored in the new budget.