Hochul presents $227 billion state budget with ‘bold, transformative investments’

Posted 1 February 2023 at 7:41 pm

Governor Kathy Hochul presents her Executive Budget proposal today in the Red Room at the State Capitol. (Photo by Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office

ALBANY – Governor Kathy Hochul today outlined her Fiscal Year 2024 Executive Budget that reflects a bold agenda to make New York more affordable, more livable, and safer by making smart, responsible investments in mental health care, public safety, housing, education, climate initiatives, and more.

“I’m committed to doing everything in my power to make the Empire State a more affordable, more livable, safer place for all New Yorkers,” Hochul said. “We will make bold, transformative investments that lift up New Yorkers while maintaining solid fiscal footing in uncertain times.”

A Balanced Budget

Hochul’s FY 2024 Budget proposal reflects New York’s steady finances, even as global economic trends send mixed signals. All funds spending is $227 billion, growing 2.4 percent. Deposits to reserves that had been planned for FY 2024 and FY 2025 will be completed by the end of the current year – two years ahead of schedule – for a total of $24 billion secured for a rainy day.

Fixing the Continuum of Mental Health Care 

For too long, New York’s mental health care system has suffered from underinvestment, and the pandemic only made things harder for New Yorkers with serious mental illness. To address the unmet mental health needs of New Yorkers, Governor Hochul will make a long-term, $1 billion investment to transform New York’s continuum of mental health care. This comprehensive, multi-year plan includes allocating:

  • $915 million in capital to develop new residential units, plus $127 million in annual operating costs.
  • $18 million in capital and $30 million annually to increase operational capacity for inpatient psychiatric treatment.
  • $60 million in capital and $122 million annually to expand outpatient services.
  • $27.5 million annually to improve post-discharge connections to services through the creation of 50 new Critical Time Intervention care coordination teams.
  • $30 million annually to expand mental health services in schools.

Addressing the Housing Crisis

The New York Housing Compact is a comprehensive, multifaceted proposal to address a historic housing shortage in New York State and build 800,000 new homes over the next decade. In addition to setting local housing targets in every New York municipality, emphasizing transit-oriented development, removing barriers to housing creation, and incentivizing new construction, Governor Hochul’s plan includes:

  • $250 million for infrastructure upgrades and improvements to support local housing growth and development.
  • $20 million for planning and technical assistance to support local rezoning efforts and other solutions to drive growth.
  • $15 million for a new statewide data collection effort.
  • $4 million to create a new Housing Planning Office within Homes and Community Renewal to support localities in meeting their housing goals and coordinate planning efforts across the state.
  • $39.8 million to reduce the risk of lead exposure in rental properties outside of New York City, including $20 million in assistance to property owners for building remediation.
  • $50 million for the creation of a statewide Homeowner Stabilization Fund to provide critical home repairs in 10 key communities with a high concentration of low-income homeowners of color.

Driving Down Gun Violence, Combatting Fentanyl and Protecting Public Safety 

Governor Hochul will make major public safety investments aimed at reducing violent crime and enhancing quality of life. Funding will expand programs and services to further drive down gun violence, reduce recidivism, address the flow of deadly fentanyl, and improve the efficacy of the court system, which was disrupted by the pandemic.

  • $337 million for programs designed to prevent and reduce gun violence, including but not limited to:
  • $84.1 million for youth employment programs, of which $37 million is for programs in Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) jurisdictions.
  • $70 million for communities to respond to the aftermath of gun violence, of which $50 million is for community capital needs.
  • $36.4 million for the GIVE initiative.
  • $31.1 million for crime reduction, youth justice, and gang prevention programs.
  • $25.9 million for State Police Community Stabilization Units (CSUs).
  • $25 million for the SNUG Street Outreach program.
  • $18 million for Crime Analysis Centers, including $2 million for crime analysts to combat the flow of fentanyl into communities.

The Executive Budget proposal also includes:

  • $52 million in aid to prosecution funding for all 62 district attorneys’ offices.
  • $40 million to funding to support discovery reform implementation.
  • $31.4 million for alternatives to incarceration programs.
  • $20 million for pretrial services.
  • $10 million to support stipends for volunteer firefighters who complete core training, providing a recruitment and retention incentive to those who serve their communities.
  • $7 million for a new Anti-Fentanyl Innovation Grant.

Addressing the Climate Crisis and Investing in Affordable Energy

New York State has one of the nation’s most ambitious climate plans focused on creating a cleaner, healthier environment for future generations. Governor Hochul will make a transformative $5.5 billion investment to promote energy affordability, reduce emissions, and invest in clean air and water, building on more than $30 billion committed to climate action.

In addition to forthcoming investments from the historic Environmental Bond Act passed by voters in 2022, the Executive Budget includes:

  • $500 million in clean water infrastructure funding and $400 million for the Environmental Protection Fund.
  • $400 million to provide relief to New Yorkers experiencing high electric bills as well as lowering energy burdens through electrifications and retrofits.
  • $200 million for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to invest in enhancing the improving state parks.
  • A proposal to implement the Waste Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act to increase recycling rates, save local governments money, and protect the Environment.

New grant program to provide funding for municipalities to investigate and remediate sites contaminated with emerging contaminants like PFAS.

Making Child Care More Accessible and Affordable 

With the actions included in the FY 2024 Executive Budget, Governor Hochul is increasing the State’s investment to an unprecedented $7.6 billion over four years to make the child care system more accessible and affordable. This will put New York State on the path toward improving the process of finding child care, widening program eligibility, and supporting the child care workforce.  In addition, there will be the following targeted investments:

  • $389 million in underutilized Federal funds for a Workforce Retention Grant program.
  • $25 million in foregone revenue to support the Employer Child Care Tax Credit.
  • $4.8 million in State funds for the Employer-Supported Child Care Pilot Program.

Creating a Stronger Health Care System 

Building off last year’s historic $20 billion investment, Governor Hochul’s will continue to invest in high quality health care, address pressing health needs facing New Yorkers, and helping facilities across the state prepare for future public health emergencies. New York’s health care system is among the best in the nation, but the pandemic shed light on disparities in the system. The budget seeks to address these disparities 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:

  • $500 million in multi-year health care capital funding to drive transformative investment that support the State’s health care investments.
  • $500 million in multi-year capital grants to support investments in technological investment upgrades, including clinical tech and cybersecurity.
  • $967 million to complete consolidation of Wadsworth Laboratories’ five unconnected sites to one site on the W. Averell Harriman Campus in Albany by 2030.
  • $100 million to expand Medicaid coverage of preventative health services and access to primary care.
  • $157 million in New York State’s nursing homes and $9 million in New York’s assisted living providers, so staff can better provide high-quality care to residents.
  • $60 million beginning in FY 2025 to expand the Medicaid Buy-In program so more New Yorkers with disabilities can work and still qualify for coverage.
  • $39 million to reduce the risk of lead exposure in rental properties outside of New York City.
  • $8 million to revitalize the state’s Emergency Medical Services system and $14 million to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for medical transportation.
  • $12 million to modernize New York State’s health reporting systems and build a nation-leading health monitoring and surveillance system.

Boosting New York’s Economy 

The Executive Budget includes proposals to strengthen the state’s economy and accelerate Governor Hochul’s vision of making New York the most business-friendly and worker-friendly state in the nation. The Governor has proposed a significant expansion of the State’s business attraction programming to create good, high-paying jobs in fast-growing industries like tech, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing.

The Governor has also proposed indexing New York’s minimum wage to inflation to help workers meet the rising cost of living and a nation-leading plan to offer fully paid parental leave to thousands of New York State employees.

The Executive Budget also adds:

  • $425 million to invest in local economies, including $225 million in grant funding and tax credits for the Regional Economic Development Councils and $100 million each for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward.
  • $60 million in grant funding to support locally sourced school meals and food retailers in underserved communities and regions.
  • $58.5 million to support the State’s robust tourism industry, including funding to promote regional attractions and matching grants to assist counties and municipalities with local tourism efforts.
  • $45 million to be made available to GO-SEMI: The Governor’s Office of Semiconductor Expansion, Management, and Integration to lead the growth of the state’s semiconductor industry.
  • $18.8 million to rebuild New York State’s government workforce through critical initiatives to be administered through the Department of Civil Service and Office of General Services.
  • $2 million to help Public Assistance recipients recoup stolen benefits.
  • $1 million for the Department of Agriculture and Markets to develop a stronger food supply workforce pipeline.

As part of Governor Hochul’s ongoing commitment to expanding opportunity for New York workers and businesses, the Executive Budget also establishes the Office of Community and Workforce Development in New York City. The Office will require New York City contractors to make best efforts to hire candidates from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and will require the city to consider impacts of penalties for noncompliance on minority- and women-owned businesses, nonprofits, and small businesses.

Supporting Students and Schools 

All New York students deserve a high-quality education, from prekindergarten through college. Governor Hochul will allocate a historic $34.5 billion in total School Aid, the highest level of State aid in history. This funding will help give every child in New York the tools to succeed through a high-quality education.  Funding for education includes:

  • $24 billion for Foundation Aid – a $2.7 billion increase from last year – to complete Governor Hochul’s three-year phase-in to fully funding Foundation Aid for the first time in history.
  • $1.5 billion in new capital projects for SUNY and CUNY.
  • $250 million of the historic increase in Foundation Aid to establish high impact tutoring to address learning loss.
  • $125 million expanding prekindergarten to bring the State’s annual support for such programs to $1.2 billion.
  • $270 million in new operating support for SUNY and CUNY campuses.
  • $400 million in SUNY transformation capital initiatives, including $200 million for research labs at the University at Buffalo and Stony Brook University and $200 million for a digital transformation of IT infrastructure throughout the SUNY system.
  • $500 million to create the first-ever New York State matching fund for contributions made to the endowments of SUNY’s four university centers.

Governor Hochul will also eliminate the regional cap on the number of charter schools in New York City and authorize the reissuance of charters due to surrender, revocation, termination, or non-renewal. These changes will permit the issuance of additional charters in New York City and expand educational opportunities for students.