The Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus this year was able to win a series of legislative and budget victories, including a funding boost for public colleges in New York City, expanding the Homeowner Protection Program and boosting funding for the Black Farm Fund, as well as efforts to reduce gun violence.
The caucus can also point to measures such as the approval of a state-level version of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, reducing medical debt and addressing lead poisoning levels in children.
Still, the group did not get everything lawmakers wanted, many of them centering around crimnial justice law changes. Measures that would seal many criminal records of New Yorkers, making it easier for older people in prison to gain parole, stronger measures designed to prevent eviction and a renewable energy proposal did not get done.
“The BPHA Caucus continues to be a force for positive change in New York State, and this year, we have sowed important seeds of investments that will reap generational rewards. Now, we will take the time to galvanize and strategize to build upon our work of advancing the wealth and economic power of Black, Latino and Asian communities," said Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages, the caucus chair. "With the support of our diverse body, I know this next session will bring about more historic wins that lead to increased positive outcomes for New Yorkers of color."
The caucus has been increasingly influential in Albany, which now has 67 members in the 213-seat Legislature.