Hochul kicks off budget season by unveiling $227B executive spending plan | amNewYork

Governor Cathy Hochul on Wednesday marked the beginning of the next two months of budget negotiations with the state Legislature with his release. $227 Billion Fiscal Year 2024 Executive Budget Proposal,

The governor’s balanced executive budget for the coming fiscal year is nearly $7 billion above the current year’s $220 billion approved budget and $5.4 billion above the November adjusted budget.

Hochul and Albany lawmakers will now spend the next eight weeks haggling over their proposed spending plan, a process that should be completed by April 1.

Presenting his budget Wednesday afternoon at the state capitol, Hochul provided more details about his proposals to address issues such as a weak economy, high crime and a lack of housing production, which he Presented at his annual State of the Union address last month,

In that speech, Hochul laid out a vision for a New York version of the American Dream: The New York Dream. But, it is a dream that is still out of reach for many, she said – a problem that her budget aims to address.

“Today we are here to talk about how we can help New Yorkers make their dreams come true. That’s why our agenda focuses on affordability, livability, safety and includes important proposals related to housing, mental health, child care, public safety, and even raising the minimum wage during this difficult time. “All [of] This is just to make it a little easier for the family living in New York.

According to a budget document from Hochul’s office, the plan includes an estimated $22 billion out-of-year budget gap over the next three years, which will increase to $5.7 billion in FY 2025, $9 billion in FY 2026 and $7.5 billion in FY 2027. I break down. The document states that the estimated gap can be attributed to the projected decline in state tax receipts in the coming years.

However, due to an additional $5.9 billion in excess of expected tax receipts for the current fiscal year – the state will enter the next fiscal year with an estimated $8.7 billion surplus.

jobs and taxes

That extra money in state coffers, Hochul said, is a key reason she won’t raise income taxes — a pledge she made during her statehood.

In another effort to help cash-strapped New Yorkers, Hochul reiterated his plan to link the increase in the minimum wage to inflation.

“Nobody could have imagined the effects of inflation, it created a sense of anxiety and insecurity,” Hochul said. “That is why I announced a plan to link the minimum wage to inflation to give you the purchasing power that was lost to forces outside your control. So, if prices go up, wages will also go up.”

With a large number of jobs lost in New York during the coronavirus pandemic, Hochul’s budget introduced proposals aimed at attracting more companies to set up shop in the Empire State. In part, that means building on his administration’s deal with semiconductor maker Micron Technology Inc. to build a $100 billion plant in central New York that would create an estimated 50,000 jobs.

The governor plans to broaden that effort by launching the Governor’s Office of Semiconductor Expansion, Management and Integration (GO-SEMI), which will work to grow the state’s semiconductor industry.

Additionally, Hochul introduced plans to fund workforce development programs, direct state agencies and state-funded programs to buy their food from New York farmers and $1.3 billion in economic development initiatives.

But investing in our NY Coalition, which is fighting to raise taxes on the ultra-wealthy and corporations to boost funding for the state’s social safety net, has led to a 2021 increase in the state’s corporate tax rate through 2026. criticized Hochul’s spending plan for instead of making it permanent.

“To no one’s surprise, Governor Hochul’s budget proposal presentation continues to prioritize corporate gifts while failing to adequately invest in the services and programs that keep all New Yorkers safe and thriving,” Carolyn Martinez-Klass, Invest in Our NY campaign manager, said in a statement.

“We should focus on our 2021 corporate tax reform by making the corporate tax permanent and increasing rates on the most profitable corporations so that they pay what New Yorkers pay,” she said.

Gun Violence and Bail

When it comes to public safety, Hochul said his budget is earmarking $337 million to combat gun violence across the state.

This includes $18 million for the Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative, which will strengthen 20 police departments in counties experiencing high levels of gun violence in the state. and $1 million in additional state funding to help open a crime analysis center in New York City.

In an effort to clear the backlog that has built up in the state court system during the coronavirus pandemic, the governor is investing $40 million in additional funding to hire hundreds of new prosecutors and assist district attorneys with increased compliance times over state reforms are doing. search law.

Hochul once again called for state bail laws to be changed to roll back parts of reforms enacted in 2019 that eliminated cash bail for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. that’s the main change demanding the removal of the “least restrictive standard”, which requires judges to consider the least restrictive means of getting a defendant to appear for their court date.

Hochul has said that the least restrictive standard creates confusion among judges as to which offenses are bailable and which are not.

“I look forward to a thoughtful conversation with the legislature about our bail laws,” the governor said. “I reaffirmed my belief in the need to make changes and that we will not back down from the progress that has been made. But conflicting language in the law leads to confusion and judges lack accountability in making their decisions.”

However, public defender group The Legal Aid Society strongly pushed back Hochul’s proposal to eliminate the least restrictive standard, saying the move could violate the US Constitution.

“The governor’s call to remove a well-established provision of law requiring that judges consider the ‘least restrictive’ option in bail-eligible cases will only lead to the incarceration of more New Yorkers of color on Rikers Island. , a feature that is associated with a threshold of peril,” the group said in a statement. “We also question the constitutionality of this proposition, as it potentially violates United States Supreme Court precedent protecting the presumption of innocence.” violates.”

State legislative leaders like Assembly Speaker Carl Hastie have shown little appetite to change bail laws. Speaking to reporters after Hochul’s budget presentation, Hasty reiterated that he does not believe bail reform has led to an increase in crime nationwide, but acknowledged that there is still a high crime perception among New Yorkers. which cannot be ignored.

Hasty said, “As I’ve always said, I’m not one who believes that bail is a driver of crime.” “But I’m very cognizant of the fact that people still feel a perception of crime, even though New York City is one of the safest big cities and New York State is one of the safest big states. But people’s perception is their reality.” Is.

Hasty’s state Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, has also shown reluctance to make further changes to bail reform.

building construction

Hochul also reaffirmed his plan to build 800,000 new housing units over the next 10 years through his so-called “New York Housing Compact”. The plan would require municipalities in the state’s lowlands to build new housing every three years at a rate of 3% and those upstate at a rate of 1%.

The administration will help local people meet those goals, Hochul said, with $250 million in “infrastructure support”. Fund” and “$20 million Planning Assistance Fund.” Also, high-density development within a half-mile of the station would be a requirement for any municipality with a train station operated by the MTA.

But Housing Justice for All, an advocacy group for renters and homeless individuals, sharply criticized Hochul’s housing plan for benefiting private developers while not helping the majority of people in need of housing.

“Governor Hochul’s plan prioritizes deregulation and luxury housing production. It’s for real estate moguls, not working families,” the group said in a statement. “Under the guise of ‘affordability,’ the New York Housing Compact New York State will exacerbate gentrification and inequality in the U.S. while doing nothing to keep New Yorkers or help them get hired today.”

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