Governor Kathy Hochul has unveiled her $227 billion state budget for 2024-25.
This budget is $5 billion more than the current year, with a 2.4% increase in all spending.
Hochul said public safety is her top priority, budgeting $337 million.
She is proposing $40 million for funding discovery law changes that have required local prosecutors to make evidence available to defense counsel on a fast basis. The budget also backs $20 million for pre-trial services.
Hochul has also proposed $50 million to aid communities affected by gun violence and $35 million in capital grants for combating hate crimes.
Annual school aid will increase $3.1 billion, or 10%, for a total of amount of $34.5 billion. This includes fully funding the Foundation Aid formula for the first time in 17 years.
Also under education spending is $125 million to expand full day pre-kindergarten and $250 million for tutoring programs to help students recover from learning loss.
As previously announced, Hochul allocated $1 billion toward Mental Health with that multi-year funding going toward the creation of 1,000 inpatient beds, $30 million to expand school-based mental health care, and increased funding for outpatient services.
Hochul wants to expand housing in the state by building 800,000 new units, counting those that are already in development. The budget includes a plan that would allow projects to move ahead over the objections of local zoning regulations if a community is failing to meet targets. Funding for housing includes $250 million for infrastucture support and $20 million for planning assistance.
Child care assistance will receive a $7.4 billion increase over four years. Hochul said this is the most ever. The budget also would provide instant eligibility for child care assistance for anyone receiving government support. Co-pays would be lowered and more support is being proposed for child care providers.
Under health care, the budget seeks to address access issues by adding more than $1 billion in health care capital funding, expanding Medicaid coverage for 7.8 million low-income New Yorkers, and improving access to aging services and high-quality long-term care.
However, the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) President Michael Zurlo said Hochul’s budget includes an “unprecedented shift that will saddle local taxpayers” with up to $1 billion in new Medicaid costs by pocketing Enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Program (eFMAP) funds that were intended to go directly to local governments to help hold costs
While there is no personal income tax increase in Hochul’s budget, she is proposing to extend a higher tax rate for wealthy corporations that had been set to expire at the end of the year.
In 2021, former Governor Andrew Cuomo had increased the tax rate for corporations taking in at least $5 million a year in revenue from 6.5% to 7.25%. The increase was only supposed to be temporary and set to end after three years, but Hochul wants to extend it for another three years. The extension would bring in between $800 million and $1.1 billion annually. Democrats are expected to support the extension.
The State Legislature now has until April 1 to approve a fiscal plan.