“Gov. Kathy Hochul promised a better, more transparent budget process when she took over as New York’s executive. Promises made, promises broken. Unfortunately, New Yorkers were left with the same secretive, ineffective negotiations they have come to expect from One-Party rule in Albany. The process remains as broken and dysfunctional as ever.
The final spending plan was bloated, more than a week late and required an emergency extender to ensure state employees received paychecks and government continued to function. The $220 billion spending plan is twice the size of Florida’s budget despite the fact they now have more residents than New York. Simply put, this state has a serious spending problem under present leadership.
Much like the budgets of 2019 and 2020, criminal justice found its way into the state spending plan. And similar to what we saw two years ago, the disingenuous attempt to fix our broken system and improve public safety didn’t approach what needs to be done. Minority Conference lawmakers, victim advocates, law-enforcement professionals and the majority of New Yorkers have called for sweeping changes. This budget offered much less than what is necessary.
With state revenues coming in higher than expected and an influx of federal aid available, I was pleased to see a number of Minority Conference priorities addressed. The overdue suspension of the state tax on gasoline will provide relief at the pump; $4.6 billion in tax cuts should ease the financial burden for families; Assembly Minority Conference members have called for JCOPE to be replaced since 2013, and advocated for the creation of the Department of Veterans’ Services – both are part of this budget. In addition, there are increases in infrastructure investments, school aid, funding for career and technical education and a cost-of-living adjustment for human services staff.
Overall, the 2022-23 Enacted Budget is too big when it comes to spending and too small when it comes to fixing systemic quality-of-life issues. The state’s current ability to offer short-term assistance – thanks to an infusion of non-recurring funding sources – will not adequately address the persistent affordability crisis that drives families and businesses out of New York.
There is much more to be done during the remainder of the 2022 Legislative Session. And the Assembly Minority Conference will continue to fight for stronger, more comprehensive solutions to these growing concerns.”