Hochul announces agreement on budget framework, lawmakers begin passing bills

Photo by Mike Groll, courtesy of the Governor’s Office
April 7, 2020 – Albany, NY – Governor Kathy Hochul makes a budget announcement in the Red Room of the Capitol.

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday night provided an overview of the key priorities that will be in the final fiscal year 2023 state budget.

State lawmakers were said to be passing budget bills Thursday night and will continue Friday.

“As we make our comeback from the COVID-19 pandemic we are embracing this once-in-a-generation opportunity to usher in a whole new era for New York, with a bold budget that brings much-needed economic relief to New Yorkers and looks to the future with historic investments in education, health care and infrastructure,” Hochul said. “This [budget] agreement brings us closer to an enacted budget and makes good on our promise of a stronger, safer, more inclusive and more prosperous New York state.”

The final budget will include:

  • Tax relief for middle-class New Yorkers and small businesses;
  • Suspending fuel taxes to counter the high cost of gasoline which has surged in recent months as a result of the war in Ukraine;
  • Support for small businesses that were most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as restaurants, by authorizing the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages;
  • Billions of dollars to rebuild the health care workforce and support home care workers;
  • Increasing funding and expanding access to child care programs;
  • A five-year transportation infrastructure plan;
  • New funding for clean energy infrastructure, climate resiliency and preservation;
  • A new ethics oversight board called the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government to replace JCOPE;
  • Public safety programs meant to crack down on the trafficking of illegal guns, and protecting victims of domestic violence and hate crimes;
  • Funding for mental health infrastructure; and
  • Revising the state bail laws to stop the cycle of repeat offenders.

Since Gov. Hochul proposed her Executive Budget in January, additional revenue has been forecast and surplus funds have been realized.

The total budget for fiscal year 2023 is now estimated at approximately $220 billion.

The spending plan will include $2 billion for pandemic assistance that Hochul indicated was available for use when her Executive Budget was released in January, but had not yet been allocated.