Tuesday, March 11, 2014


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Cardinal Dolan, labor business leaders, support education investment tax credit

NEW YORK – Major New York City labor leaders, representing more than 255,000 working men and women, today united with Timothy Cardinal Dolan, other faith leaders, business, students and parents in urging Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature to approve, as part of the new state budget, a bill that would increase charitable donations to public schools and scholarships for low-income and working family students looking to attend parochial and other private schools.

At a news conference this morning at Cathedral High School in Manhattan, Cardinal Dolan was joined by 32BJ/SEIU, New York Police Department PBA President Patrick J. Lynch, FNDY Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York President Steve Cassidy, Agudath Israel of American Vice President Rabbi Yehiel M. Kalish, retired business and community leader Robert Catell, students, parents, community leaders and many other business and labor leaders.

“The time to pass this bill is now,” Cardinal Dolan said. “With the support of so many of our state’s great labor unions and business leaders, and so many of my brothers and sisters in ministry, I think we have a great chance to do so.”

32BJ/SEIU President Hector Figueroa, who heads the nation’s largest property service workers union with more than 145,000 members, including 75,000 in New York City, said: "In our effort to make good quality education accessible to all our children we stand with those who seek to improve our public school system while preserving alternatives that for generations have complemented and strengthened the mission of public education. This legislation increases access for poor and working class children without undermining the resources available to our public schools. We ask the Legislature to support working families and approve the Education Investment Tax Credit as part of this year's state budget, so that opportunities can come even more quickly to our increasingly diverse community of children."

NYPD PBA President Patrick J. Lynch, who leads the nation’s largest law enforcement union, with over 40,000 NYPD officers, said: "This legislation will help alleviate the burden of working families confronting the economic challenge of providing the best quality education they can for their children, many of whom will be our future police officers and other first-responders who serve and protect New Yorkers.  We stand with Cardinal Dolan, Bishop DiMarzio and other religious, community and labor leaders to urge Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to help working families and communities of need by including this Tax Credit in the new state budget."

The Education Investment Tax Credit will increase funds in two areas critical to our state’s educational future – donations to public schools, school districts and teacher-driven projects; and scholarships to help low- and middle-income students attend religious and other tuition-based schools. The total increase on donations from this bill would grow to $300 million per year, divided evenly between public school needs and scholarships for students to attend parochial or other private schools.

It would accomplish this by creating a new tax credit for those who make a charitable donation for educational purposes. New York State already provides tax credits for many other purposes, including film and TV production, job creation, economic development and domestic beer brewing.

Low-income and middle-class students would benefit directly from up to $150 million in annual charitable contributions to nonprofit scholarship organizations providing tuition assistance. The new donations for scholarships would make private and parochial education a reality for families seeking new quality educational opportunities and assist those already enrolled who are struggling to afford tuition at schools that best meet their needs.