ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Gov. Kathy Hochul delivered the proposed 2024 New York State Budget from the Capitol Building in Albany at noon. Hochul presented the spending blueprint she plans to follow for New York State in the upcoming fiscal year, including initiatives such as public safety, mental health, housing, education, child care, climate change, health care, and transportation.
On the topic of public safety, Hochul mentioned three main points, including illegal guns, criminal justice, and violent crime. Hochul proposed to put $337M toward reducing and preventing gun violence, expanding crime analysis capacity, strengthening communities, and increasing opportunities. $143.4M was proposed to help improve the efficiency of the state’s criminal justice system, and $12.8M to expand the state police, bring community stabilization, and bring in more units to assist in neighborhoods.
Hochul discussed the importance of addressing mental health issues and proposed $1B to tackle the initiative. The $1B proposal will allow for 1,000 new beds for psychiatric units, $10M for expanding school-based mental health care, and 3,500 supportive housing units offering mental health services.
Referencing her plan mentioned in the State of the State, Hochul said that through the New York Housing Compact, the state looks to build 800,000 new houses over the next decade to increase the housing supply. In doing so, she hopes more families will stay in New York and residents will have better access to higher-paying jobs. She proposed a $250M infrastructure support fund and a $20M planning assistance fund. $38.9M in funding was also proposed to reduce lead exposure in rental properties in the 24 hardest-hit localities across the state.
- The Executive Budget aims to support local government, providing support for towns, villages, and cities outside New York City.
Last fiscal year, Hochul said the state spent $31B in school aid and proposed to spend $34.5B in the next fiscal year. The $34.5B proposal would go towards investment in school aid. A $2.7B proposal would increase foundation aid, fully funding the formula for the first time. $125M was proposed to expand full-day pre-kindergarten programs, and $250M would go towards establishing tutoring programs to recover from learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hochul mentioned how the money put forth for education is crucial due to students falling behind and losing teachers in the state.
- Hochul’s plan for strengthening the New York State higher education system gains light in the N.Y. Budget Presentation.
In her budget proposal, Hochul said parents should not have to choose between a paycheck or taking care of their child. To make child care more affordable, accessible, and fair in New York, Hochul proposed $7.6B would go toward child care assistance over the next four years, which would be the most ever, instant eligibility for people receiving government support, lower co-pays, expanded child care access for the most vulnerable families, and better support for child care providers.
$5.5B was proposed to promote energy affordability, reduce emissions, and invest in clean air and water. Cap-and-Invest, a nation-leading program, will reduce emissions and provide $1B for New Yorkers. $400M will help New Yorkers pay electric bills and retrofit homes, and $500M will go towards clean water infrastructure.
Hochul mentioned how the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the issues within the health care system. To improve these shortcomings, she proposed $1B in health care capital funding, $100M to expand Medicaid coverage for nearly 8 million New Yorkers, and $157M to invest in New York’s nursing homes.
To support workers, farmers, and businesses, Hochul proposed investing $1.3B in economic development, new and expanded workforce development programs, indexing the minimum wage to inflation, making the investment tax credit for farmers refundable for five years, directing state agencies and state-funded programs to buy food grown in New York, and continue to invest in communities through DRIs and New York Forward.
Upgrades for Penn Station, Second Avenue Subway, Interborough Express, and Penn Access were proposed, along with 900 new automated bus lane enforcement cameras, and $20M for electrification of non-MTA buses throughout the state. More proposals include $400M in savings and efficiencies – without service cuts, reallocating federal funds to reduce costs of capital, increasing contributions by the state and New York City, making long-term investments to continue progress on public safety, and a share of future potential casino revenue to go toward MTA.
In New York’s budget process, the governor proposes a comprehensive budget, coordinating with state agencies to develop a plan for expenses and revenues. That balanced budget then must be submitted to the legislature.