NY Budget Surplus Allows Hochul Increased Spending Power

“This is a pivotal moment for our state,” Hochul said. “We can’t just sit on the sidelines and wish things were different. If we want to make real progress for our people, we can.

She described the workings of a series of proposals to realize New York’s dream that were extensively outlined in her State of the State Address last month. And she’s enjoying an $8.7 billion surplus from higher-than-expected tax revenues to fund projects and programs aimed at appeaseing a wide variety of constituencies.

Hochul described the workings of a series of proposals to realize New York’s dream that were extensively outlined in his State of the State Address last month.

Hochul wants to record increases in education and Medicare spending — to $34.4 billion and $27.8 billion respectively. Hochul’s plan would set aside more than $1 billion to help New York City with some costs related to providing social services to new asylum seekers.

She proposed new sources of funding for the beleaguered Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including raising payroll taxes for downstate businesses, using projected casino revenue and earmarking $300 million in one-time aid. She also rejected any increase in income tax.

800,000 New Homes Over The Next Decade

She outlined various provisions of her plan for 800,000 new homes over the next decade, which would require municipalities across the state to meet housing production targets or make zoning changes.

And she announced a four-year extension for completion of projects covered by the 421-expired tax exemption, but did not suggest a specific replacement for the incentive program that builders say will be needed to the type of housing growth it seeks.

Many of Hochul’s ideas enjoy broad conceptual support among Democrats seeking to expand opportunities for communities that have been historically ignored, and Hochul will spend the next two months trying to build consensus among members of the legislature. of the State for the fiscal year which begins on April 1.

But she is entering that process under difficult conditions, at least in the Senate, where she is threatened with legal action after a Senate panel rejected her choice for the chief justice post last month. Leaders are downplaying any potential stalemate amid the acrimony. Hochul made a point of greeting just two people — both Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie — before taking the podium on Wednesday.

It also opened the door to some historically contentious debates in the Legislative Assembly, including allowing more charter schools statewide by lifting a regional cap in state law and expanding the discretion Judges would dispose to set bail for more serious offences.

She characterized both the expansion of bail and charter schools as moves to clarify otherwise odd implementations of the current status quo, rather than the political grenades they have become. Much of his campaign battle last year centered on rising crime and criticism of state bail laws.

“Let’s just bring some clarity,” she said of her proposed bail bill. “Let’s make sure judges consider the factors for serious offenders. And let’s leave the law where it is for low-level offenses and move forward to focus on two more public safety challenges.

Andrea Stewart-Cousins, left, and Carl Heastie listen as Kathy Hochul presents her state executive budget. Hochul made a point of saying hello to Heastie and Stewart-Cousins before taking the podium on Wednesday. | Hans Pennink/AP Photo

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, during an availability with reporters after Hochul’s speech, said he had been briefed the night before but was still ‘wrapped around’ Hochul’s proposals .

He noted that charter school expansion has generally been “challenging” for his lecture; the powerful teachers’ unions oppose an expansion. And he is skeptical of any suggestion that state bail laws are the solution to rising crime, suggesting instead that the legislature should take a more holistic approach.

The state is on a solid financial footing this year, and officials anticipate the $8.7 billion surplus can be used to help the state increase its reserves to 15% of state operating funds. by 2025.

Progressive groups analyzing Hochul’s proposal were quick to point out what they saw as missed opportunities when the state has the money to take aggressive action, including affordable housing advocates who say rights tenants should be given priority in trying to make New York more affordable.

“Governor Hochul’s plan prioritizes deregulation and the production of luxury housing. This is for real estate moguls, not working families,” tenants’ rights activist Cea Weaver said in a response from the Housing Justice for All coalition she represents.

Hochul said the political dynamics surrounding her election and legislative relationships did not play into how she chose to craft the budget proposal when asked about a proposal to expand a tax on MTA salaries that would affect suburban counties. It was not widely successful in the suburbs last November.

“Nothing I do in the budget is driven by politics, elections, results,” she said. “I am guided by what is best for New Yorkers. »

This article is originally published on

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button