Assemblywoman Maritza Davila: ‘Families First’ Budget Proposal Aims to Provide Economic Security for All

Assemblywoman Davila (Brooklyn) announced the release of the Assembly’s 2015-16 “Families First” budget proposal (E.203). The $150.7 billion budget plan focuses on New York’s families by making investments in education, health and human services, housing, and helping ensure economic security for all.

“By putting families first, we’re making New York stronger,” said Assemblywoman Davila.

Families First – Increasing the minimum wage

In this country, there is no reason someone working a full-time job should struggle to put food on the table, but this is the reality for so many in our state. We need to raise the minimum wage so working families can make ends meet. Assemblywoman Davila voted for a budget proposal would increase the minimum wage for New York City of $12.50 per hour to begin Dec. 31, 2016, increasing to $15.00 per hour starting Dec. 31, 2018.

Families First – Investing in education

The Assembly’s budget proposal builds on the promise of full-day pre-kindergarten by earmarking an additional $80 million for statewide universal pre-K. For 2015-16, the proposal would increase school aid by $1.8 billion for a total investment of $23.95 billion, independent of any other budgetary action.

Families First – Supporting higher education

These days, most jobs require an education beyond a high school diploma. However, for many, accessing higher education is simply not an option. Assemblywoman Davila voted for a budget that provides critical funding to the Assembly’s Higher Education Road to Success proposal. The program would fund innovative new and existing programs to make college more affordable, including increasing support for Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) awards and committing more than $20 million to Opportunity Programs. The spending plan also provides funding to enhance community college base aid, support the DREAM Act and boost outreach programs.

Families First – Safe and affordable child care

The Assembly’s proposal also includes $25 million for 3,000 new child care slots, an additional $10.7 million in support for facilitated enrollment services, $1 million for the continuation of child care programs for SUNY and CUNY, and it will increase Advantage Afterschool Program funding to $18.3 million.

Families First – A stronger safety net for the most vulnerable

“Some New Yorkers are facing unimaginable circumstances and need a strong safety net to avoid falling through society’s cracks,” Assemblywoman Davila said. “The programs funded by the Assembly budget proposal provide assistance for those who need it as they get back on their feet.”

The Families First budget restores $30.9 million in Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funding for programs that provide relief to families in need. Additionally, the Assembly proposal allocates $5 million to support the development of new service opportunities for individuals with disabilities who are living with aging parents. The budget proposal also commits $5 million to the Safe Harbour for Sexually Exploited Youth and $5.4 million for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.

Families First – Keeping health care affordable and accessible

The Assembly funds $10.7 million for spousal refusal, which ensures that elderly individuals living in the community will not be impoverished if their spouse needs long-term care services. Additionally, $4 million is proposed for the Nurse Family Partnership, a community health program that assists first-time and low-income mothers as well as $5.5 million for maternal and child health programs. The proposal restores $10.9 million to support clinic services, including family planning clinics. HIV/AIDS community-based providers will receive an additional $1.1 million in addition to $10 million in support for the proposed End of AIDS initiative.