BUDGET UPDATE MARCH 22,2023 11 A.M.– WHERE THE NEW YORK STATE BUDGET IS TODAY FROM ASSEMBLYWOMAN MARY JANE SHIMSKY

Hits: 179

 

Dear Friends,

New York State’s annual budgets are the product of a fast-moving, multistage process. When Governor Hochul presented her Executive Budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year on February 1, the Legislature had exactly two months to review the $227 billion Executive Budget, generate and present counterproposals, and negotiate with the Governor to develop the final State budget by the April 1 deadline.

Since February 1, the Assembly and State Senate have conducted 13 joint hearings on the Executive Budget, analyzed thousands of documents, and received information from seemingly countless State employees and private advocates. In the Assembly, individual and groups of Assembly members also sent hundreds of budget letters to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, making specific funding requests and suggesting specific means of raising revenue.

Late last week, the Assembly and the Senate reached a critical point in the process. By passing their respective One-House budget bills, each legislative house has put forward its suggested changes and revisions to the Executive Budget. At this point, negotiations will proceed among the “three people in a room” — Governor Hochul, Speaker Heastie, and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins — to come up with a final fiscal plan. Supporting those negotiations is a joint General Conference Committee process between both houses of the Legislature. (I am participating as an alternate on the subcommittee evaluating programs and funding for general government and local assistance).

The Governor and Legislature have voiced agreement on numerous major issues, including completing the Foundation Aid funding for our public schools, moving toward all-electric buildings, and raising the minimum wage. Other issues, such as the Governor’s housing proposals and her aid packages for SUNY and CUNY, have been rejected in major part by the Legislature. It remains to be seen whether there will be a comprehensive budget agreement, or if areas of disagreement will remain. The process for resolving any such disagreements is analogous to the process for other legislative disputes — the Governor can reject specific legislative appropriations and line items, and the legislature may override her decisions by a two-thirds vote of both houses.

Here is a list of some of the highlights from the Assembly’s One-House bill:

Public Schools and Childcare:

  • $2.6 billion for Foundation Aid (fully funding our public schools for the first time ever);
  • $280 million for free school meals for all students statewide;
  • No increase in the charter school cap;
  • $200 million for universal pre-K (Executive Budget proposed $125 million);
  • $198 million for child care funding, and two-year tax incentive for employer-provided child care

Higher Education:

  • No tuition hike at SUNY or CUNY;
  • $1.8 billion increase for SUNY funding (Executive Budget proposed an $879 million increase);
  • $1.3 billion increase for CUNY funding (Executive Budget proposed a $397 million cut);
  • Expansion of the Tuition Assistance Program income threshold from an $80,000 to $100,000;
  • 4% increase in community college funding

Health and Mental Health Care:

  • $2.7 billion for Medicaid funding;
  • $1.32 billion for hospitals;
  • $266.5 million for nursing homes;
  • 8.5% cost-of living adjustment for home care workers and direct support professionals

Housing and Development:

  • $1.5 billion for assistance programs for homeowners and tenants;
  • $500 million in housing creation incentives for villages, towns, and cities ex-New York City;
  • Exclusion of the Executive Budget proposals to override local zoning laws and mandate transit-oriented development within 50 miles of New York City

Environment:

  • All-Electric Building provisions, phasing out gas service in all new buildings by 2029;
  • $600 million for clean water infrastructure (Executive Budget proposed $500 million);
  • $435 million for the Environmental Protection Fund (Executive Budget proposed $400 million);
  • $400 million for energy affordability and home retrofit assistance programs

Transportation:

  • $1.33 billion to maintain and repair aging transportation infrastructure;
  • $275 million for PAVE-NY program (Executive Budget proposed $175 million);
  • $8.3 billion to the MTA, and no fare increase;
  • Exclusion of the Executive Budget’s MTA payroll tax increase for New York City and its suburbs; alternative funding proposals include an increase in the top corporate tax and fees on three remaining downstate casino licenses

Public Safety and Criminal Justice:

  • $275 million for discovery within the court system;
  • $198 million for the Office of Indigent Legal Services;
  • $69.3 for SNUG, GIVE, and other anti-gun violence initiatives

Workforce and Communities:

  • Increase in the minimum wage and indexing it to the inflation rate;
  • $102.5 million for the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)

If you would like to do a deeper dive into this process, please see the Summary of the Assembly Recommended Changes to the Executive Budget.

Sincerely,

MaryJane Shimsky
Assembly member, 92nd District

Comments are closed.