On January 16th, Governor Kathy Hochul introduced her Executive Budget to the New York State Legislature. If enacted, it would increase spending to $233 billion and is the largest budget in state history, an increase of $6 billion over last year. The governor and the legislative leaders will now start the three-month process of negotiating the state’s fiscal plan, along with the many policy initiatives included in the document. The state budget is due on April 1st.
The governor was able to balance the budget (a state constitutional requirement), eliminating a projected $4.3 billion deficit without a tax increase or dipping into the State’s reserve funds.
Following are some of the highlights:
Housing – As a major point of contention in last year’s budget negotiations, this year’s budget proposal has been scaled down. The governor has proposed $500 million to develop 15,000 housing units on state owned land and is requiring localities to receive a “pro housing community certification” to receive state funding,
Migrants and Asylum Seekers – Hochul has allocated $2.4 billion to address the influx of asylum seekers, $1 billion of which is designated to reimburse New York City and $500 million from the State.
Health and Mental Health – The state spent $1.5 billion more than was budgeted last year for these services. Hochul has proposal an increase to $35.5 billion. The governor’s mental health agenda includes $55 million to create two hundred new inpatient psychiatric beds and $45 million for school based mental health services.
Economic Development – $500 million is recommended to modernize and expand operations at the Albany Nano Tech Complex and $200 million for Regional Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships. The governor also proposed $275 million investment to support the new Empire AI Initiative which will create partnerships in public and private institutions.
Education – School aid is proposed as an $825 increase from last fiscal year bringing total school aid to $35.3 billion.
Climate Change – The governor’s budget includes $500 million to invest in water infrastructure, $435 million to address coastal flooding and $160 million to expand clean swimming across the state.
The Senate and Assembly already have announced a series of hearings on the governor’s budget and interest groups are making their way to the Capitol to advocate for their changes and/or additions to the fiscal plan.
Here is a link to Governor Hochul’s Budget Highlights https://www.governor.ny.gov/fy-2024-executive-budget/fy-2024-executive-budget-highlights