With the budget process seemingly wrapping up, lawmakers are beginning to reflect on what was accomplished and what is still left to do.

While Democrats control both houses of the state Legislature and the governor’s mansion, this year’s budget process demonstrated that there is enough differences among those lawmakers to hold up the process for nearly three weeks.

Heading into an election season, two of the biggest issues on people's minds are affordability and safety, and those are among the issues where lawmakers see some progress, but certainly some disappointment.

“There are a lot of really good investments spread out across these bills that make it really difficult to vote against, but I am going to speak out,” said Queens Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas.

Included in those issues of affordability is one Gonzalez-Rojas has rallied tirelessly for all session: A push to expand free healthy school lunches to all New York students. 

Despite widespread support in the Legislature, advocates say Gov. Kathy Hochul didn't include enough to fully fund the program in the executive budget, and the proposal didn't make it into the final package. 

“We put $120 million in our one houses in the Senate and Assembly, tremendous support among food advocates, amongst Democrats, Republicans. It was not a partisan issue. Widely popular,” she said.

Also not included, a push to increase the minimum SNAP benefit, which currently sits at $23 per month.

“A real missed opportunity when we’re facing a hunger crisis in New York state,” she said. “Nearly one in four families are experiencing food insecurity and you have to make these investments,” she said.

Another issue on the minds of New Yorkers is public safety.

When it comes to policy combatting retail theft in the budget, Hochul took a victory lap Thursday. Included were new felony penalties for assaulting a retail worker and retailer tax credits for theft-related expenses.

“We got it done exactly the way we had hoped for,” Hochul said.

Republican Assembly Member Michael Reilly, while expressing concern about prosecutorial discretion related to bail reform, touted elements of his own legislation making it into the final package.

“I have legislation that would have aggregated the petty larceny from multiple locations committed by the same individual, so it would raise it to a felony. That made it into the budget, that concept,” he said.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who has this session often questioned the effectiveness of increased penalties, summed up his feelings when asked if he was happy with the final package on retail theft when speaking with reporters earlier this week.

“It’s an agreement. I don’t know if happy is a term to use on this, but it is what it is,” he said.