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1.18.22 Advocacy Alert: Hochul Releases Executive Budget

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Josh Veronica

January 18, 2022

On January 18, Governor Kathy Hochul released her first Executive Budget proposal, available here. She announced the proposal in a brief speech that largely mirrored her State of the State address.   

Hochul noted the state’s strong financial position, made possible by a windfall of federal aid and, as of last week, a significant new revenue stream through mobile sports betting. With stable revenue, her budget promises tax relief to property owners, middle class families, and small business owners. In a briefing, Budget Director Robert Mujica said, “there are no tax or fee increases in this budget.” 

The State will provide frontline healthcare workers a bonus payment of up to $3,000 to incentivize the recruitment and retention of frontline healthcare workers. The Governor also proposed one-time workforce development grant opportunities for job creation and retention efforts, while proposing an “overhaul” of the state’s workforce development efforts.  

Her budget summary did not mention paying back New York’s unemployment insurance fund debt. Without state intervention, employers will be forced to shoulder this debt.  

The Governor plans to invest in Rental and Homeowner Assistance programs to keep people in their homes. Her proposal does not include Good Cause Eviction legislation or another eviction moratorium. 

Her proposal did not include funding for a new Buffalo Bills stadium, which is expected because the parties have not yet announced a deal. To keep on the planned construction timeline, the state will need to include funds in its enacted budget, meaning negotiations must wrap up with enough time to do so before April 1.  

Her proposal includes extending and enhancing the Brownfield Cleanup Program, for which the BNP has advocated. She did not list specifics.  

Her budget makes significant investments into the environmental bond act, offshore wind, and clean water infrastructure. There was little climate policy in her announcement, but more climate regulations are expected as the Climate Action Council’s recommendations are considered.  

Hochul will invest federal dollars from the BNP-supported Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. She promised record funding for CHIPS and Bridge-NY, as well as a billion-dollar pothole repair program. She also plans to address a number of landmark projects, including reconnecting neighborhoods across the Kensington Expressway.  

Her budget proposal is the first step in a months-long negotiation process. The Senate and Assembly will make changes to Hochul’s proposal and eventually release their own proposals. The Legislature and Governor must agree to a final budget by April 1.  

Hochul’s speech and briefing book today were light on detail, but more will be understood soon once the formal budget legislation is introduced. Over the next few weeks, BNP staff will dissect that legislation, keep you informed of key updates, and remain in contact with our state lawmakers.  

Read BNP President & CEO Dottie Gallagher's statement on the budget proposal HERE.

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