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Hochul announces highlights of New York budget; GOP, state leaders react

Press Releases

Mon, Apr 11th 2022 10:55 am

Over the weekend, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced highlights of what her team called an “historic” fiscal year 2023 budget, which “blends record investments into the long-term future of New York along with significant one-time aid to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented fiscal responsibility. This historic blueprint meets the once-in-a-generation moment to invest in New Yorkers by rebuilding the health care economy, building the education system of the future, reducing the tax burden for those who need it most, improving the state's transportation and housing infrastructure, combating climate change, creating jobs, and improving public safety and ethic oversight in government.”

The budget brings the state's reserves to 15% of state operating funds spending by 2025 – a level never seen before. Planned deposits are: $5 billion in FY 2022, $5.1 billion in FY 2023, $2.5 billion in FY 2024 and $2.9 billion in FY 2025.

"When I was sworn in, I promised that every decision I make will go through one lens: Is it the best deal for New Yorkers?" Hochul said. "This budget fulfills that promise and provides us with a blueprint for the short- and long-term future. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to not just bring relief to families and put more money in people's pockets today, but also to make historic investments in New Yorkers for years ahead. With this budget we are seizing that opportunity and ushering in a new era of a stronger, safer, more prosperous New York State."

Highlights of the FY 2023 budget, per Hochul’s team, include:

•Rebuilding Our Healthcare Economy to Provide Care for More New Yorkers

The budget agreement includes a historic $20 billion multiyear health care investment in the FY 2023 state budget. Creating better working conditions for health care workers will be a priority, with $1.2 billion dedicated to frontline health care worker bonuses, as well as a $4.5 billion multiyear investment in payment reform. Other landmark investments include $2.4 billion being directed to improving health care infrastructure and $3.9 billion in funding to provide aid to hospitals struggling financially from the COVID-19 pandemic. Another $7.7 billion will be spent over four years to increase the home care worker minimum wage by $3. These groundbreaking investments will work together to improve working conditions and grow the workforce by 20% over the next five years, and improve the health care industry for all New Yorkers.

•Building the Education System of the Future

The state budget provides unprecedented support to build the education system of the future with $31.5 billion in total school aid for school year 2023, the highest level of state aid ever. This investment represents a year-to-year increase of $2.1 billion (7.2%) compared to school year 2022, including a$1.5 billion foundation aid increase, $125 million of additional funding for full-day prekindergarten, and a$451 million increase in all other school aid programs. The budget also includes transformative investments in SUNY and CUNY with more than $500 million in additional support of the systems' operations and $2.2 billion to fund capital projects on SUNY and CUNY campuses. Additionally, it includes$150 million to expand TAP, a critical lifeline for students that is currently largely unavailable to those studying part time, to cover students enrolled in six or more credits of study at a SUNY, CUNY, or not-for-profit independent college. This investment in TAP is estimated to provide a lifechanging opportunity to 75,000 additional New York students annually.

•$32.8 Billion for Transportation Infrastructure

The budget includes a new, historic $32.8 billion, five-year capital plan for programs and proposed projects administered by the New York State Department of Transportation. The adoption of this new capital plan, the largest investment ever in the state's transportation infrastructure, represents a$9.4 billion (40.2%) increase over the prior five-year plan period. The new transportation plan prioritizes and refocuses investments on state and local roads and bridges in smaller municipalities; makes the state's communities more resilient to extreme weather events; and incorporates strategic investments to reconnect neighborhoods and facilitate regional economic growth, while creating thousands of new jobs.

•Historic Investment in Clean Energy Infrastructure, Climate Resiliency and Preservation

The budget will authorize an additional $1.2 billion for the landmark Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act, bringing the total investment to $4.2 billion. In addition to the Bond Act, the budget contains a record $400 million Environmental Protection Fund to support climate change mitigation projects, improve agricultural resources, protect water sources, advance conservation efforts, and provide recreational opportunities for all New Yorkers, as well as a$500 million investment to develop the state's offshore wind supply chains and port infrastructure. This nation-leading initiative will create 2,000 jobs in a growing industry, while helping to make New York the offshore wind capital of the country for years to come. The budget also helps protect public health and advances environmental and economic restoration by extending and enhancing New York's successful brownfield cleanup program and includes an additional $500 million in clean water infrastructure funding, bringing the state's total clean water investment to $4.5 billion since 2017.

•$25 Billion Comprehensive Housing Plan

The budget will advance a bold, comprehensive, $25 billion, five-year housing plan that tackles systemic inequities by creating and preserving 100,000 affordable homes, including 10,000 homes with support services for vulnerable populations. This plan also electrifies an additional 50,000 homes as part of the state's plan to electrify 1 million homes and make another 1 million electrification-ready. Funding includes $5.7 billion in capital resources, $8.8 billion in state and federal tax credits and other federal allocations, and $11 billion to support the operation of shelters and supportive housing units and to provide rental subsidies.

•Expanding Access to Child Care

The budget reinforces Hochul's commitment to giving children the best possible chance at success and parents the ability to participate and advance in the workforce by investing $7 billion over four years, more than doubling New York's support for child care. The budget increases the income eligibility threshold for child care subsidies to 300% of the federal poverty level ($83,250 for a family of four), extending eligibility to more than half of young children in New York. The budget also expands access to high-quality child care by increasing the child care market rate to include 80% of providers. This change will broaden the child care options available to subsidy families while also increasing reimbursements for child care providers. To further support providers – the backbone of the industry – the budget invests $343 million provide a second round of provider stabilization grants. These grants will go directly to providers and their employees, with 75% of the grants dedicated to workforce support, including wage increases, bonuses, tuition reimbursement, and contributions to staff retirement plans and health insurance costs.

•Recovering from the Pandemic

The budget supports programs that are a lifeline for vulnerable New Yorkers as the global pandemic made plain the fragile connection many have to basic needs. As part of an agreement with the legislature to spend $2 billion in pandemic recovery reserves on one-time investments, the FY 2023 enacted budget includes:

√ $800 million in state funds for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which has so far paid or obligated $2.1 billion for rental arrears, supporting more than 160,000 low and moderate-income households at risk of housing instability;

√ $800 million for hospitals still experiencing financial distress from the COVID-19 pandemic;

√ $250 million in utility arrear assistance;

√ $125 million in homeowner and landlord assistance; and

√ $25 million in other one-time, non-recurring investments.

•Protecting Public Safety and Taking Action Against Gun Violence

The budget includes meaningful and significant changes to public safety laws to make this state safer, to tackle the pervasive unease many are feeling on the streets, and to make the criminal justice system more fair for all. These changes include:

√ Allowing judges to set bail for gun charges that were previously subject only to release;

√ Adding factors that judges must consider when setting bail for any bail-eligible offense;

√ Closing problematic loopholes on Raise the Age and Discovery; and

√ Making Kendra's Law more effective.

The budget also includes $90 million in new resources to support discovery reform implementation and pretrial services. This includes:

√ A $65 million investment in approaches to discovery that ensure public safety, including systemwide coordination, technology, expanded storage capabilities, and administrative support; and

√ $25 million for pretrial services, alternative to incarceration services and reentry programs. These services include reminders and monitoring of court attendance, screening, and referrals for mental health and substance abuse treatment.

The budget will also include $224 million to fund bold initiatives that will strengthen the gun violence prevention efforts of law enforcement and community-based organizations. Through these comprehensive actions, the state will work to restore New Yorkers' sense of safety and community by tripling gun violence intelligence resources, providing $13.1 million to expand the use of community stabilization units, tripling investment in New York's SNUG outreach program, and allocating $20 million to respond to regional needs in the aftermath of gun violence.

•Tax Relief for Middle-Class New Yorkers and Small Businesses

The budget will accelerate tax relief to middle-class New Yorkers, the backbone of the economy, by providing the fully implemented reduced tax rates beginning in tax year 2023, to deliver relief to 6.1 million New Yorkers. Small businesses were hit particularly hard by the pandemic downturn. The budget also provides significant support for New York's small businesses, including a new capped refundable tax relief program targeting COVID-19-related expenses. The program provides up to$250 million in additional relief to small businesses. The budget also creates a new property tax relief credit, the Homeowner Tax Rebate Credit, for eligible low- and middle-income households, as well as eligible senior households. Under this program, basic STAR exemption and credit beneficiaries with incomes below $250,000 and Enhanced STAR recipients are eligible for the property tax rebate where the benefit is a percentage of the homeowners' existing STAR benefit. This $2.2 billion investment will help approximately2.5 million homeowners.

•Suspending Fuel Taxes

To tackle the high cost of fuel, which has surged in recent months as a result of the war in Ukraine, New York will suspend the state sales tax imposed on fuel, the motor fuel tax, and the metropolitan commuter transportation district sales tax imposed on gasoline and highway diesel from June through December 2022, providing an estimated $585 million in relief for working families and businesses statewide. The state will make roads and bridges and public transit entities such as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and local transit systems throughout the state whole by replacing estimated lost tax revenue using the State General Fund. Additionally, localities would have the option to cap the price their applicable local sales tax rate is imposed on at $4 per gallon.

•Making Critical Reforms to Restore Faith in Government

The budget will improve ethics oversight and restore New Yorkers' trust in state government by creating a new entity, the "Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government," to replace the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. Nominees for the 11-member commission will be put forward by the governor, Senate, Assembly, comptroller and attorney general, and then reviewed by law school deans for approval or denial. The commission will work differently and more transparently with special voting requirements eliminated, the body and votes subject to the Open Meetings Law and FOIL, any breach of confidentiality referable to the attorney general, and improved training of staff and notice to victims who have suffered harm by their perpetrators. The commission is also required to hold an annual meeting to report on its activities and hear feedback from the public, and any findings must be reported in 20 days, down from the previous 45 days. The budget also includes measures to increase transparency, such as adding domestic partners to be disclosed in financial disclosure forms.

•To-Go Cocktails

The budget will allow for the sale of alcoholic beverages "to go" for off-premises consumption. To-go drinks were a critical revenue stream for New York's bars and restaurants during the pandemic, helping many small businesses across the state pay their rent or mortgages. The budget will continue supporting the recovery of bars and restaurants. The new policy addresses the concerns of small businesses operating liquor stores by requiring food orders, sealed containers, and no bottle sales. Additionally, requiring sealed containers, coupled with open container laws in effect in every municipality of the state, will ensure concerns of public drinking are addressed. The budget also calls for a comprehensive look at all Alcohol and Beverage Control laws to ensure they are applied and updated relating to this new legislation.

Since the governor proposed her executive budget in January, additional revenue has been forecast and surplus funds have been realized. The total budget for FY 2023 is currently estimated at approximately $221 billion, based on a preliminary assessment of the negotiated changes to the executive proposal. The spending plan will include the $2 billion for pandemic assistance that Hochul indicated was available for use when the executive budget was released in January, but had not been included as a spending line-item.

Senate Republicans: One-Party-Rule Isn’t Working for NY

GOP: 9 days late & negotiated in total secrecy, Albany’s 2022 state budget overspends, underdelivers

Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and members of the Senate Republican Conference criticized “Albany one-party rule” for passing a final state budget they said was “nine days late, negotiated in total secrecy, and the height of fiscal irresponsibility. In addition, this reckless state budget delivered more for Albany politicians, criminals, and non-U.S. citizens – and less for law-abiding, middle-class New Yorkers overwhelmed by the rise of violent crime and inflation all across the state.”

Ortt said, “This budget clearly demonstrates that one-party control of state government isn’t working for New Yorkers. The process was disastrous. The spending is reckless. And many of the actual accomplishments are simply watered-down proposals that first originated with my Senate Republican colleagues and I. As inflation and violent crime rage across our state, it’s clear that the legislative majorities are failing to meet the moment. New Yorkers deserve better.”

New York State Sen. Tom O’Mara, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said, “This Albany Democrat giveaway goes far beyond any reasonable sense of fairness, responsibility or long-term sustainability for hard-working, tax-paying citizens. It’s the largest spending plan ever enacted, but it fails to include the scope of tax, regulatory and mandate relief needed to truly begin turning this state around. It largely ignores the need to rebuild and revitalize the manufacturing sector. It’s a one-party vision for spending billions of dollars that’s teeing up a next generation of hard-hit taxpayers and unaffordable living in New York state. We are going to be footing the bill and carrying the burden for these all-Democrat budgets for years to come.”

Deputy Republican Leader Andrew Lanza said, “Never in all my years as a state senator have I seen a budget as disappointing as this one. To be clear: I support much-needed relief for middle-class taxpayers, but New Yorkers needed more than a mere half-loaf from Albany. I support restoring public safety in our state, but this budget failed to do that as dangerous bail reform and other soft-on-crime policies are still in place. Albany Democrats had the chance to make a meaningful difference for New Yorkers who are fed up with the dysfunction and misplaced priorities. Sadly, they missed that chance.”

The GOP said, “The 2022-23 New York state budget includes ridiculous spending levels totaling more than $220 billion – nearly $8 billion more than last year, and a stunning $34 billion more than 2020. This represents a staggering two-year spending increase of more than 18%. Since 2019, Senate Democrats have consistently blown past the 2% spending cap Republicans maintained while in the majority.

“In addition, the final budget continued the Democrat-driven trend of providing more for Albany politicians, criminals and non-U.S. citizens – and less for law-abiding, middle-class New Yorkers overwhelmed by the rise of violent crime and inflation all across the state.”

The Republican Party continued, “Some of the most glaring failures in this year’s budget include:

“√ Failure to provide any meaningful new tax relief for middle-class New Yorkers fleeing the state;

“√ Failure to deliver comprehensive tax relief that our small business and manufacturers desperately need;

“√ Failure to fully repeal bail reform, bring all the necessary stakeholders to the table, and restore judicial discretion; and

“√ Failure to include any reforms designed to increase performance in our classrooms, to bolster parental input and involvement, or to strengthen local control of our schools.

“Some of the most glaring misplaced priorities include:

“√ Millions for taxpayer funded political campaigns – which is great for career politicians, but really bad for taxpayers;

“√ New pork barrel ‘discretionary’ spending for lawmakers to hand out in an election year;

“√ Taxpayer-funded free college tuition for prison inmates and non-U.S. citizens; and

“√ Millions in health care funding for non-U.S. citizens, while doing nothing for hardworking, law-abiding New Yorkers who are struggling to deal with rising health care costs.”

Ortt said, “Albany politicians, for too long, have ignored the priorities of the people of New York. They provide handouts to themselves, handouts to lawbreakers, and handouts to non-U.S. citizens. It’s completely out of touch with the needs of law-abiding, middle-class New Yorkers. The people are fed up with ‘Albany business as usual.’ ”

He later added, “From the back-room-deals of one of the most secretive state budget processes in New York’s history, out came tiny tweaks to the Democrats’ dangerous bail reform laws. Don’t be fooled: this is political window dressing to create the illusion of solving the problem, but does nothing to actually fix our broken criminal justice system.

“Spiking violent crime has plagued New York communities for years now, thanks to the slew of pro-criminal, anti-victim, anti-police policies and rhetoric from ‘Albany One-Party Rule.’ How can New Yorkers trust these same politicians who created the crime crisis to fix it?

“Under this so-called ‘fix,’ the following heinous crimes would still not be bail eligible: assault in the third degree, domestic violence offenses, driving drunk and causing serious injury, failure to register as a sex offender, killing a police K-9 or horse, unlawful possession of a weapon on school grounds – and this is the tip of the iceberg. Perpetrators of these dangerous, violent crimes, and a whole host of others, will continue to have a revolving door that releases them straight back onto the streets.

“The only true way to restore common sense and public safety to our state is to repeal the original law and start from scratch with an open, transparent process with all stakeholders at the table. With the input of victims and their families, law enforcement, district attorneys, prosecutors, judges and local officials, we can bring safety and security back to our streets.

“We cannot settle for the same behind-closed-doors-process that left innocent, law-abiding citizens with these disastrous laws and a violent crime surge in the first place. Nothing will change if nothing changes.”

Additional Reactions

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said, "The passing of the state budget is welcome news. While jobs are rebounding in many industries, our economic recovery lags the nation, and risks have expanded as the budget process has unfolded, with growing geopolitical uncertainty surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and persistently high inflation. In addition, New Yorkers continue to grapple with the health, economic and social impacts of the pandemic.

"I am pleased to see the budget will provide tax relief and support to help middle-class New Yorkers and small businesses, boost wages for health care workers, make green investments and extend relief programs to assist those affected by the pandemic.

"While it’s good news the budget maintains a commitment to building up reserves, many new programs will add recurring spending, and it is yet unclear to what extent they are supported by recurring revenues. Using temporary federal relief aid to fund new spending programs could create a ‘fiscal cliff’ in the future. We must remember this influx of federal funding is finite. Bolstering state savings through the formal rainy day fund reserves is essential for sustaining services that New Yorkers rely on and improving the state’s long-term fiscal standing.

"My office will analyze the final enacted budget and release a detailed analysis in the coming weeks."

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “My Assembly majority colleagues and I know that our state’s economic recovery depends on the success of New York’s working families. We know that now, more than ever, New Yorkers are struggling with the rising cost of groceries, housing, higher education, gas and child care, and that we must seize this moment to deliver the economic relief that is so desperately needed.

“Throughout this budget process, we have worked tirelessly to deliver a spending plan that focuses on the everyday needs of New Yorkers as we continue to navigate our state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating economic impacts.

“I am confident that, in this budget, we will deliver for families the tax relief they need, including property tax relief, middle-class tax cuts and a gas tax holiday to offer some relief at the pump.

“We fought to ensure that this budget makes unprecedented investments in child care and prekindergarten to help parents and caregivers get back into the work force and get our economy moving again.

“We were able to deliver a meaningful wage increase for home care workers for the critical work that they do to ensure New Yorkers can live comfortably and with dignity in their homes.

“Year after year, we have led the way to make higher education affordable to more families, and this year we built on those accomplishments. Since rolling out the ‘Higher Education Road to Success’ initiative in 2015, we have doubled our investment in opportunity programs for New York’s hardworking students.

“After nearly two years of interrupted education and uncertainty, we have made a record investment in public education to ensure that our students are safely back in the classroom receiving the high-quality public education they need to thrive.

“I am confident and proud to say that this spending plan reflects our continued commitment to putting New York’s families first.”

The New York State Association of Counties and county leaders from around the state “commended Gov. Hochul and state legislators for adopting a spending plan that delivers on a host of top county priorities, including ending the practice of diverting local sales tax to fund state funding responsibilities.

“As the level of government charged with implementing the bulk of state policy at the local level, the 2022-23 state budget … stands to impact a wide array of county operations, including public health, highway maintenance, social services, veterans’ programs, child welfare, departments of aging, and sustainability programs, among other programs and services.”

NYSAC President Martha Sauerbrey, chairwoman of the Tioga County Legislature, said, “This is a good state budget for counties. It stops taking local sales taxes, invests in critical local public health services, and helps us strengthen ambulance and EMS services to our residents. We thank Gov. Hochul, Senate Leader Stewart Cousins, and Speaker Heastie for meeting with us throughout this process, listening to our concerns, and responding to the needs of local taxpayers.”

Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, president of the New York State County Executives’ Association, said, “When Gov. Hochul took office many, including myself, welcomed the opportunity to start a new relationship with the state based on mutual respect and the shared goal of making New York a better place to live and work. Today, as a result of new cooperation, this state budget makes significant investments in services that local governments provide like public health, EMS, and infrastructure, while also respecting local control of local revenue by ending the diversion of sales tax to fund state programs. While no budget is perfect, the agreement reached … is a big step forward for counties, the people we serve and for the relationship between the state leaders who creates policy and the local governments charged with making it happen.”

The New York State Association of Counties added, “In addition to fully repealing the diversion of sales tax to pay for the AIM program and repealing the diversion of sales tax for distressed health facilities in the 57 counties, and a reduction of the diversion for NYC, the budget contained numerous other policy changes sought by counties including:

“√ Increased base grant funding to full-service local health departments to $750,000, or $1.30 per capita and $577,500 for partial-service LHDs, and allows all LHDs to claim up to 50% of personnel services costs;

“√ Repeal of the DOT right-of-way tax and creation of a new Division of Broadband Access, which will deploy grants to support broadband development;

“√ Increases in CHIPs highway and bridge funding and the creation of a pothole paying program;

“√ Increased aid for county veteran service agencies; and

“√ Bolstering reserves in the state’s ‘rainy day’ funds to protect from future economic downturns.”

NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said, “There are many items in this year’s spending plan that will help counties and local taxpayers as we all continue to rebound and rebuild from the long COVID pandemic. Critical investments in public health, broadband, roads and bridges, and the environmental bond act, will help local leaders build stronger, safer and more resilient communities.”

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said, “I want to take this opportunity to thank Gov. Hochul for putting forth her 10-point public safety plan and fighting to ensure that the voices of New York state’s prosecutors were heard in this process. I also want to thank the speaker of the Assembly.”

“I want to commend Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and the New York State Senate majority for their leadership in recognizing the need for additional funds for discovery reform implementation. The dedication of significant resources towards this endeavor is essential to many counties, particularly those in upstate New York. This funding will help District Attorneys across our state make our criminal justice system fairer and stronger. Additionally, the changes in bail will make our communities safer.

“I look forward to continued conversations in Albany regarding bail, discovery and Raise the Age legislation.”

New York State Sen. Sean Ryan said, “Bail reform has saved taxpayer dollars and fixed a broken system, which often kept low- and middle-income New Yorkers locked up indefinitely for low-level offenses. In this year's budget, we addressed important and legitimate concerns about bail reform raised by our constituents and law enforcement. As I have said many times, lawmakers must be willing to adjust based on new information – and that is exactly what we have done.”

New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta said, “This budget delivers historic resources for education and continues the promise to fully fund foundation aid, a critical step years in the making. It provides funding to hire mental health staff to support students at every level and to bolster professional learning for educators through teacher centers and implicit bias training. But redefining public education as a system that truly supports every child is unceasing work, which is why we’ll continue fighting for dedicated funding for community schools that would deliver transformative supports for families in every community.

“We also need to tackle the ongoing teacher shortage, which this budget takes important action on. That includes the first steps toward critical retirement system reforms that will ensure public servants in Tier 6 have access to a high-quality, fair pension. This gives us yet another tool for attracting the next generation of teachers, school-related professionals and public employees into state and local service.

“Significant resources for SUNY and CUNY two- and four-year colleges mark a step toward transformational change for our public higher education system. And the promise to cover debt service for SUNY hospitals, the backbone of the state’s pandemic response, is essential for continued quality public health care for New Yorkers.

“The legislative session is not done yet, so neither is our work. We will continue to advocate on behalf of our members and those they serve as we strive to move our state and our future forward.”

Dr. Frederick E. Kowal, Ph.D., president of the United University Professions, said, “UUP has long-advocated for leaders in Albany to reverse the decades-long disinvestment in SUNY that has weakened our higher education system and limited opportunities for students and employees. While there is more work to do, we applaud Gov. Hochul and the Legislature for taking an important step that will allow SUNY to turn a corner by putting it on a path to a stronger future.

“We are grateful to members of Legislature who tirelessly advocated for SUNY throughout the budget process, especially the delegations from Central New York, Brooklyn and Long Island. As a result of their hard work, the state will finally provide capital debt services to SUNY teaching hospitals that are a literal lifeline to so many historically underserved communities.

“In the coming years, SUNY will need consistent support, including direct state aid to campuses, to achieve Gov. Hochul’s ambitious goals of strengthening the system. We will continue to fight for state funding that support SUNY hospitals through the many programs outlined by the governor and Legislature. SUNY’s public teaching hospitals must be supported by state funding.”

In addition to support for SUNY, the budget agreement provided funding for frontline health care workers who have fought the COVID-19 pandemic, including thousands of UUP members.

Kowal continued, “After a long delay, many of our members will receive compensation for their heroic service during the COVID-19 pandemic. UUP welcomes the health care worker retention bonus, and will vigorously advocate for the appropriate titles to be designated for these payments.”

New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Robert S. Schneider said, “With their approval of the 2022-23 state budget, Gov. Hochul and the Legislature have given New Yorkers a welcome taste of the predictability and stability that a functioning foundation aid formula can provide for school districts.

“School boards greatly appreciate this opportunity to step off the roller coaster ride that too often has taken us through New York’s budget process. This spending plan proves that reaching a school aid agreement does not need to be a high-stakes cliff-hanger in order to yield good results for our students.

“The $1.5 billion foundation aid increase for 2022-23 brings us two-thirds of the way to complete implementation of the formula that state lawmakers approved 15 years ago, with a promise of full funding in the next fiscal year. What’s more, a 3% minimum foundation aid boost for school districts brings an important added element of fairness at a time when all schools are coping with heightened inflation.

“We continue to examine additional details of the budget. NYSSBA looks forward to working with state lawmakers to address additional issues facing our students and our public schools during the remaining weeks of this legislative session.

National Federation of Independent Business State Director Ashley Ranslow said, “NFIB has long called for the passage of small business tax cuts, and applauds the governor, Senate and Assembly for getting that done in this year’s budget, as well as gas tax relief, financial assistance programs, and tax credits for hard-hit small businesses. However, this budget completely ignored small businesses’ calls for action on sky-high unemployment insurance tax bills.

"For more than a year, NFIB has been urging New York state to use federal pandemic aid to address its $9 billion UI debt and lower the state’s massive UI tax bills being levied on small businesses at this very moment. New York state’s public policy decisions on COVID shutdowns and restrictions, not independent business decisions, led to mass layoffs. Instead of the state stepping up to the plate, elected leaders are leaving small businesses on the hook. With a staggering $220 billion budget, it’s unconscionable that there isn’t a single cent dedicated to unemployment insurance tax relief. The small business tax credits and programs being hailed by lawmakers are sorely diminished by New York’s inaction on UI, and the devastating UI tax bills will continue growing as the state stands by and does nothing.”

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