State Budget

At the State Capitol: A late budget, an apparent cyberattack and another budget extender

BY Jack Arpey New York State

The New York state Legislature still hasn't voted on a state budget, despite Gov. Kathy Hochul announcing the "framework" of a conceptual agreement on Monday.

The governor has acknowledged that details still need to be ironed out, but it is still not clear when the budget process will be wrapped up. State senators meanwhile told reporters as they left conference for the day that they plan to pass another budget extender Thursday possibly bumping the budget deadline to next week.

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Hochul discusses public safety measures, school funding in state budget deal with Spectrum News 1

BY Luke Parsnow and Marisa Jacques New York State

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state’s residents want to see a state budget “that delivers for them” and says there is a lot in the conceptual agreement reached Monday between her and legislative leaders that those residents can be proud of.

The governor sat down with Capital Tonight on Tuesday to discuss some of the parameters of that agreement that includes public safety measures, record funding in education and a housing plan.

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N.Y. budget's next step: Lock down lawmakers' support

BY Kate Lisa New York State

New York budget conversations in Albany are winding down — and that's how Gov. Kathy Hochul wants it after announcing a budget framework without details while lawmakers continue to discuss parts left unfinished.

State lawmakers on Wednesday are scheduled to conference remaining details of the the $237 billion Fiscal Year 2024-2025 budget, including parts of the housing package, mayoral control of New York City schools and proposed cuts to Medicaid programs.

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Conceptual K-12 education budget answers some questions, creates others for New York school districts

BY Jack Arpey New York State

One of the major topics this state budget cycle was K-12 education funding, and whether Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposal to make changes to the Foundation Aid formula would survive the negotiating process after legislative leaders came out against it.

The governor announced a “conceptual” budget agreement Monday that she said commits $36 billion to education, the highest in state history.

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Speaker Carl Heastie agrees to ‘conceptual’ budget deal with Gov. Kathy Hochul

BY Bernadette Hogan New York City

After Gov. Kathy Hochul announced she struck a “conceptual” agreement on a $237 billion spending package on Monday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie appeared to back her up.

However, fellow Democrats in the state Legislature on Tuesday had various questions because they still had yet to discuss final details tied to big-ticket items like housing and health care.

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Conceptual $237 billion state budget deal has housing plan, record education funding, public safety measures

BY Luke Parsnow , Spectrum News Staff and Bernadette Hogan New York State
UPDATED 10:27 PM ET Apr. 15, 2024

Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York legislative leaders have come to a preliminary agreement on the state budget that includes a comprehensive housing plan, record funding in education and increased emphasis on public safety measures, the governor said.

Lawmakers on Monday appeared to have found consensus on a spending plan worth $237 billion, which is up from $233 billion that the governor proposed at the start of the legislative session in January.

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Alcohol law changes under discussion as New York state budget negotiations continue

BY Jack Arpey New York State

New York is currently taking a look at state liquor laws that many criticize as being antiquated and harmful to businesses.

Some of that is up for discussion in the state budget, including a pandemic-era policy allowing restaurants to sell to-go cocktails that is scheduled to sunset next year. Another would allow bars and restaurants to purchase a limited quantity of liquor from a nearby store.

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New York Assembly Housing Committee chair Linda Rosenthal discusses division in emerging housing deal

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

There are a series of moving parts that all need to fit together before a housing deal comes together in Albany. These include tenant protections, a wage deal between developers and construction unions, a tax break for developers, the removal of density regulations and new allowances for office conversions.

One new hurdle is a demand by developers to roll back certain tenant protections that were passed into law in 2019.

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New York advocates make final budget push for social media reform regarding children

BY Ryan Whalen New York State

Twenty-six organizations across New York state have issued a memorandum of support for two pieces of legislation aimed at protecting children on social media as final budget negotiations continue.

The organizations, which include New York State United Teachers, the National Alliance on Mental Illness NY, the state School Boards Association, various Urban League branches and other organized labor, say the state Legislature should act now to pass the "Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act" and the "Child Data Protection Act."

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New York lawmakers pass another state budget extender through Thursday

BY Luke Parsnow and Spectrum News Staff New York State
UPDATED 1:30 PM ET Apr. 08, 2024

Another state budget extender was passed Monday by the New York state Senate to keep the government running through Thursday, but will fund pay for state employees through next Tuesday.

The state Assembly approved the measure over the weekend. Gov. Kathy Hochul signed it into law Monday afternoon.

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Inside the New York budget process with Tusk Strategies’ Shontell Smith

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

While upstate New York has been mesmerized by athletic, seismic and astronomical activity this week, there are some mundane (but important) financial issues that need to be discussed, namely New York’s annual spending plan, which was due on April 1.

A veteran of multiple state budget negotiations, attorney Shontell Smith, a partner at Tusk Strategies and former chief of staff to state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, discussed how the budget process works in Albany with Capital Tonight anchor Susan Arbetter.

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Late New York state budget eclipsed by housing, education spending

BY Seamus Lyman Albany/Capital Region

The final state budget will continue to be late through the weekend as priorities appear to be getting eclipsed.

Lawmakers Thursday approved a second budget extender to keep the government running through Monday. With no final budget agreement expected, a third extender lawmakers will need to pass an additional extender by noon Monday to ensure thousands of state employees get paid on time.

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New York lawmakers push increase in TAP income threshold in final budget

BY Jack Arpey New York State

New York lawmakers are pushing for more higher education funding in the final enacted state budget.

While Gov. Kathy Hochul’s excutive budget includes significant funding, those lawmakers are hoping to go further, making changes to the Tuition Assistance Program, or TAP, which helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York state.

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Fiscal Policy Institute argues under proposed N.Y. spending plan, inflation-adjusted state funding is falling, again

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

While some New York state budget watchdogs are warning lawmakers to rein in spending, the union-backed Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) has recently released an analysis that shows the Legislature is simply proposing spending growth that would return the state to its 2014 level of spending, before former Gov. Andrew Cuomo implemented tax cuts and a 2% spending cap.

Nathan Gusdorf, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, discussed spending, inflation and raising taxes with Capital Tonight host Susan Arbetter on Thursday.

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New York lawmakers pass state budget extender through April 8

BY Luke Parsnow New York State
UPDATED 4:05 PM ET Apr. 04, 2024

The New York state Legislature on Thursday passed another state budget extension and it was promptly signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The extension through April 8 makes sure National Guard members are paid on time, but another will need to be passed by Monday to ensure other state employees are paid on time.

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NYPD officer's death provokes talks of more bail reform rollbacks

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Last week's death of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller has prompted state leaders and lawmakers to revive talks of New York's bail reform law and questioning if the policy that ended cash bail requirements for many criminal charges should be amended a fourth time.

Diller, who was 31, was killed March 25 in Far Rockaway, Queens, while conducting a traffic stop. The man accused of fatally shooting Diller had a record of 21 prior arrests — sparking conversation across the political spectrum about flaws in the state's criminal justice system.

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Good government groups push regulating political AI 'deepfakes' in New York budget

BY Jack Arpey New York State

Good government groups are pushing the state to do more when it comes to political “deepfakes” generated by artificial intelligence. They say it’s especially important as we head into an election season that will see offices across the state and national levels on the ballot.

It’s an issue that also has lawmakers on both sides of the aisle concerned.

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Proposed tax credit would help New York local news organizations

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- New York state is losing thousands of journalists and the stories they would tell.

Empire State Local News Coalition Founder Zachary Richner said in the past two decades the state has lost roughly half of its newsrooms, including recently, three prominent Westchester newspapers.

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New York lawmakers, advocates make last-ditch effort for short-term rental registry

BY Spencer Conlin Albany

State budget negotiations continue in Albany and there are last-ditch efforts being made to get various pieces of legislation included in its final version.

One proposal involves the creation of a short-term rental registry. Some municipalities have introduced something similar on the local level and it’s a measure included in both the state Senate and Assembly budget proposals.

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Mayoral control extension in final state budget unlikely, lawmakers say

BY Bernadette Hogan New York State

The city public school system’s top bureaucrat lobbied Albany lawmakers Tuesday, holding out hope that the Legislature grants Mayor Eric Adams an extension of mayoral control.

“We think that we’ve done a great job rebuilding trust with our families and our communities, and we’ve been delivering real results,” city Department of Education Chancellor David Banks told reporters in the State Capitol Building on Tuesday.

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New York Assemblymembers want NY HEAT Act included in state budget

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

Members of the New York state Assembly on Tuesday urged the chamber’s speaker, Carl Heastie, and Gov. Kathy Hochul to include the NY HEAT Act, which aligns utility regulation with state climate justice and emission reduction targets, in the state budget.

Proponents of the measure say it is intended to limit costs to customers as New York state transitions away from natural gas while protecting them from predatory practices by capping utility costs at 6% of income for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers to prevent utility companies from hiking rates.

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Reinvent Albany on New York’s opaque budget process

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

While New York state lawmakers are debating where to cut health care, there are tax breaks in the state budget for people who buy private jets and luxury yachts.

The budget watchdog group Reinvent Albany calls these among the most obscene tax breaks in New York’s budget history.

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New York advocates for people living with cancer outline priorities

BY Tim Williams New York State

Earlier this week, New York lawmakers, advocates and people living with cancer came to Albany to outline their budget and legislative priorities as lawmakers continue to hammer out a final budget deal. The advocates are looking for more funding for the Cancer Services Program, expanding access to paid family medical leave and diminishing the impact of medical debt, among other things.

Advocates are calling for more funding for two programs in the state, the cancer services program and the tobacco control program. The Cancer Services Program provides breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings to New Yorkers without or with inadequate health insurance while meeting certain age and income requirements.

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Hochul signs state budget extender through April 4

BY Luke Parsnow New York State
UPDATED 2:42 PM ET Mar. 28, 2024

The New York state Legislature passed and Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed a bill into law to keep the government running through April 4 since the state budget's April 1 deadline will not reached due, in part, to the coming Easter holiday.

Hochul said on Wednesday evening that she believes a final budget agreement is within reach, but said, "I recognize many New Yorkers would like to spend the holiday weekend with family and loved ones."

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Citizens Budget Commission warns against hiking taxes and high spending in state budget

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

On Wednesday, New York state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins confirmed that the Legislature will be pursuing a budget extender as talks will likely go past the April 1 deadline.

With the extra time for negotiations, Patrick Orecki, director of state studies at the Citizens Budget Commission, is urging lawmakers to rethink their spending plans.

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New York advocates push for emergency declaration, more funding to address substance use disorder

BY Jack Arpey New York State

Some New York lawmakers and advocates are pushing the state to invest more in prevention, treatment and recovery when it comes to substance use disorders. Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state Senate and Assembly all made slightly different budget proposals for fighting the crisis.

Advocates like Addiction Recovery coach Judy Moffitt are asking for addiction in New York state to be declared a state of emergency, and what is behind that effort is a series of items being pushed to address the crisis, some that are included in those budgets and some that aren’t.

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New York state Senate GOP unveils legislative package on housing

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

New York state Senate Republicans unveiled a package of legislation Tuesday aimed to deal with affordable housing, incentivize home ownership and protect homeowners against “squatters.”

Championed by Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt and Pam Helming, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development, the package includes tax credits, removes certain regulations and incentivizes new construction.

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Animal advocates gear up for the New York state budget

BY Tim Williams and Casey Bortnick New York State

With less than a week to go until the state budget deadline, animal advocate Libby Post of the New York State Animal Protection Federation joined Capital Tonight to discuss what advocates are prioritizing this fiscal year.



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Child development advocates fight for increased state funding for early intervention

BY Adriana Loh Rochester

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — With a complex journey of child development, early intervention can make all the difference.

"Rochester Hearing and Speech Center is the only not-for-profit left with a footprint in Monroe County who still does early intervention and we have developmental groups, which involve a special education teacher, speech pathologist, occupational therapist and a physical therapist in each classroom," director of educational and clinical services Beth McLellan said.

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Groups want to increase SNAP minimum benefit in New York budget

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

A number of business, public health and agricultural groups want to increase the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) minimum benefit to $100 a month in New York, according to a letter they sent to Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday.

The letter’s signatories include the Business Council, Instacart, State Association for Rural Health, AARP, American Farmland Trust and the National Supermarket Association.

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N.Y. budget timeline blurs as leaders hover on revenue

BY Kate Lisa New York State

It's been several days since New York budget officials commenced serious spending talks, and they have not moved very far from the starting line.

Budget officials in the Legislature have been embroiled in ongoing talks for hours each day this week, often until midnight, but continue to be stuck on a core component of the next record-high multi-billion-dollar plan: how much to spend.

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Sen. Liz Krueger discusses her bill protecting tropical forests

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

In January, Gov. Kathy Hochul vetoed a bill that proponents said would protect tropical rainforests against deforestation and degradation.

Along with Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, Sen. Liz Krueger sponsored the "New York’s Tropical Deforestation-Free Procurement Act,” which would have closed loopholes in an existing ban on the use of tropical hardwoods by New York state’s agencies and authorities.

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Hospice group pushes for clarity in N.Y. state budget as some warm to for-profit care

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

New York state has the lowest utilization of hospice in the country, which can be attributed to several factors, including low health literacy rates. But the state’s recent progress in support of end-of-life care may be threatened by something even more insidious: corporate greed.

To investigate that issue nationally, a joint request for information was issued by the federal Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Trade Commission into private equity-backed health care and its impact on quality.

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Push to include more school funding in New York state budget

BY Ryan Whalen Williamsville

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. -- In 2023, New York, for the first time, fully funded public education under the state’s Foundation Aid formula.

State Sen. Sean Ryan, D-Buffalo, said after several years of budget victories, few advocates expected the trend to continue this year but what the governor proposed was an actual cut.

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Advocate discusses NY HEAT Act, other environmental priorities

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

There are several proposals on environmental wish lists this legislative session, including the NY HEAT Act, which advocates say will save New Yorkers money and move them off fossil fuels, as well as the Climate Change Superfund Act, which would make polluters pay for the cost of the climate transition.

“This is a very important budget for lawmakers and the governor to get right when it comes to environmental protections and addressing climate change,” Liz Moran, a policy advocate for Earthjustice, told Capital Tonight.

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Experts weigh in on what's next for state budget negotiations amid disagreements on revenue raisers

BY Jack Arpey New York State

With both the state Assembly and Senate voting to pass their one house budgets Thursday afternoon, things head into the next stage of the process: negotiations with Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Last year, disagreements over housing and changes to bail reform held up the process for over a month with an agreement not coming until May.

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Syracuse city auditor calls for more state funding for localities

BY Tim Williams New York State

Syracuse's newly minted city auditor Alexander Marion is calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to devote more money to Aid and Incentives for Municipalities, or AIM funding, and commission a task force to redesign the formula.

In a letter sent to Hochul on Thursday, Marion argues “funding for municipalities needs to be a priority for New York state.”

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New York state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins discusses her chamber's one-house budget

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The New York state Senate and Assembly’s one-house budgets released this week deliver good news for an array of interests from school districts to hospitals, to cannabis growers. They do this by raising $2.2 billion in new taxes on the state’s corporations as well as the state’s very highest earners, something Gov. Kathy Hochul has said is “a non-starter."

According to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the tax increases are important because the needs in the state are so great.

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State Legislature releases budget priorities as negotiations continue

BY Bernadette Hogan New York State

Democratic state lawmakers are letting Gov. Kathy Hochul know where their priorities are in what’s known as their “one-house” budget proposals that were released earlier Tuesday.

The plans will serve as roadmaps for the next couple of weeks in negotiations leading up to the state’s April 1 budget deadline.

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In one-house budgets, New York Legislature rejects end to 'Save Harmless' while funding formula study

BY Jack Arpey New York State

The New York state Senate and Assembly on Tuesday released their one-house budget proposals, and as expected, both rejected Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposal to end "Save Harmless."

"Save Harmless," also known as "Hold Harmless," ensures that districts don’t receive less in Foundation Aid than the previous year and has been a major issue of contention so far this legislative session, also receiving significant pushback from Republican lawmakers.

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Next phase of state budget negotiations begins

BY Bernadette Hogan New York State

The next phase of Albany’s budget negotiations kicked off Monday night, as both Democratic state Senate and Assembly conferences were poised to release their “one house” budget proposals.

Only the state Senate’s document was released online late Monday night as R1952. The documents establish the Legislature’s stance on Gov. Kathy Hochul’s 2024 $233 billion budget proposal released in January.

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A war of words over tax hikes, affordability when it comes to why people are leaving New York

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The New York state Assembly and Senate will release and vote on their own one-house budgets this week. One of the big questions the budgets will answer is this: Will lawmakers push for a tax hike on the state’s wealthiest citizens or not?

New York relies heavily on the Personal Income Tax (PIT) tax, so a perennial argument in Albany balances whether to increase taxes on the wealthy to bring in needed revenue, against the possibility of the wealthy fleeing the state.

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New York budget watchdog: Focus should be on spending restraints

BY Tim Williams New York State

The Citizens Budget Commission, a non-partisan fiscal watchdog group, released their outlook for the New York state budget on Thursday that warns that even with a brighter outlook for the state’s economy, a focus should be placed on spending restraints. The group also released a list of recommendations which includes keeping spending growth below 2% and not increasing taxes.

The report points out that the executive budget proposal for fiscal year 2025 is balanced but structural budget imbalances will exceed $16.4 billion by fiscal year 2028. The report also finds that Medicaid and school aid spending “would continue at unsustainable rates” despite savings that are proposed in this fiscal year’s budget. The report warns that even with projected economic growth, spending restraints “remain necessary” to close out-year budget gaps.

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UpgradeNY wants funding to build thermal energy networks at 2 SUNY campuses

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

A collaboration of unions, climate advocates, building industry representatives and environmental groups is calling for New York to decarbonize state-owned college campuses as part of the state budget.

Known as UpgradeNY, the group wants union-led funding to build thermal energy networks at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Purchase to decarbonize heating and cooling on their campuses, the group said Thursday morning.

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New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie discusses budget issues, education

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

With redistricting in the rearview mirror and one-house budgets expected to be released next week, Capital Tonight sat down with New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to discuss a variety of topics, including education aid.

The speaker stated he is looking to make sure rural and suburban schools don’t lose money in this year’s budget; and that there is an appetite for revisiting the Foundation Aid formula.

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Farmers prep to lobby New York Legislature ahead of budget talks

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Farmers from around the state will lobby state lawmakers Tuesday before state budget talks grow serious to increase funding to support local food production and small family farms grappling with increased costs and green energy mandates.

Hundreds of members of the New York Farm Bureau kicked off the annual agricultural lobbying effort with a reception in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center on Monday night — showing off dozens of locally produced vegetables, fruits, craft beverages and other products.

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New York public defenders, DAs push for more student loan repayment help

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- According to the American Bar Association, the average law student graduates with $130,000 in student loan debt.

Many are able to quickly make a dent by going into lucrative private or corporate practices, but Amanda Jack of the Legal Aid Society says those who go into publicly funded work typically make far less.

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NYCOM again pushes for increase in state funding for local governments

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

The New York state Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials (NYCOM) is once again reiterating a request to increase funding for local governments that pays for things like supplies and wages for police officers and firefighters, according to a letter it sent to Gov. Kathy Hochul and legislative leaders.

AIM funding, which stands for Aid to Municipalities, has totaled about $715 million a year since 2012 and has remained relatively stagnant since that time. Mayors from across the state have been pushing for an increase after AIM funding level remained the same in the governor's executive budget proposal.

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New York state Senate Finance Chair Liz Krueger on House maps, budget hearings and housing

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

In a wide-ranging conversation with Capital Tonight on Friday, New York state Senate Finance Committee Chair Liz Krueger discussed health care, raising revenue, housing and the new congressional maps approved Thursday by the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC).

According to Krueger, the full Senate Democratic conference has yet to review the maps, but she wasn’t impressed by what she saw.

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New York's finances stabilized since pandemic and budget gaps reduced, but challenges remain, comptroller report says

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

New York state Comptroller Tim DiNapoli says the state’s finances have stabilized after the years-long disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, and along with the state Division of the Budget, is forecasting reduced budget gaps while pointing out that fiscal risks and challenges remain, according to a report on the budget his office released Thursday.

“New York state has taken positive steps to stabilize its finances with higher reserves and lower projected budget gaps,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Still, the Executive and the Legislature face the difficult challenge of ensuring adequate funding for our schools, health care programs, and other critical needs while improving the state’s affordability."

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Drug policy expert on the importance of the recovery movement

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Even as the worst snowstorm in years hit New York City on Tuesday, hundreds of advocates and people in recovery rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday for Stand Up for Recovery Day. The day celebrates the promise of recovery from addiction and serves as a chance to educate elected officials on the recovery movement.

“Especially nowadays, with the drugs being so lethal, when folks make it to recovery, you’ve got to really support them staying there,” said attorney and drug policy expert Rob Kent, president of Kent Strategic Advisors.

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New York budget proposal defunds program that helps keep people in their homes

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

During a legislative session when housing is at the top of the agenda, the head of New York’s Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP) argues it would be shortsighted not to fund a program that keeps people in their homes.

“[HOPP] has been extremely successful at preserving home ownership. (It’s) very cost-effective, and it’s regrettable that every year we go through this exercise of having to justify ourselves and ensure that the Legislature doesn’t let the state’s investment in this network lapse by defunding the program,” Jacob Inwald, director of litigation and economic justice at Legal Services NYC, told Capital Tonight.

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New York Assembly Higher Education Committe chair Pat Fahy wants more state aid for SUNY, CUNY

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

According to state Education Department figures, New York’s public schools are seeing their lowest enrollment numbers since the years after World War II, and that decline is affecting public and private institutions of higher education across the state — from the lecture hall to the budget office.

On Friday, lawmakers heard from higher education leaders, including SUNY Chancellor Dr. John King, in a marathon budget hearing. King has said that SUNY either needs more operating aid from the state or an increase in tuition to address the system’s financial needs.

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New York farming advocates, lawmakers lay out agricultural budget priorities

BY Jack Arpey New York State

Members of and advocates for New York’s farming industry came to Albany this week to outline their legislative priorities, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted that farm income in the US will decline by record levels in 2024.

“Agriculture and Markets is the industry’s economic development arm, there are so many things in the governor’s executive budget that farmers rely on,” said Jeff Williams, director of public policy for the New York Farm Bureau.

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New York United Teachers, rural educators concerned about proposed Foundation Aid changes

BY Jack Arpey New York State

School districts and education experts are continuing to express concerns about Gov. Kathy Hochul’s plan to end "Save Harmless," also known as "Hold Harmless," which ensures that districts don’t see a decrease in Foundation Aid funding compared to the previous year.

At Berne-Knox-Westerlo Central School District, administrators say increases in Foundation Aid in the years following the Great Recession have yielded significant improvements to services offered to students as well as the district’s facilities.

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New York environmental agencies questioned on attainability of state's climate goals

BY Jack Arpey New York State

New York lawmakers met yet again within the marble walls of Albany's Legislative Office Building Wednesday to hear testimony on the state’s environmental conservation budget, with topics ranging from assistance for farmers to New York’s State Park system.

Some of the more heated exchanges we’ve seen at these hearings so far this session, however, were directed at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation. They're largely concerned with the attainability of New York’s climate goals.

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NYCOM makes argument for increased 'Aid to Municipalities' funding

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The money that municipalities like Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany receive from the state is called Aid to Municipalities, or AIM funding. Cities use AIM to pay for things like supplies and wages for police officers and firefighters. AIM has totaled about $715 million a year since 2012.

Using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculator, if you spent $1,000 on supplies and wages back in 2012, they would cost you $353 more in 2024.

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Mayors of New York's cities push for more state funding for local governments

BY Jack Arpey New York State

Tuesday was Tin Cup Day in Albany, when mayors from across New York meet with state lawmakers to discuss their funding priorities.

Following New York City Mayor Eric Adams, mayors from Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers answered questions from lawmakers on what their city’s needs are, with lawmakers grilling them on specifics.

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New York migrant influx alters state budget proposal

BY Tim Williams and Marisa Jacques New York State

For more than a year, migrants have been bused from the southern border to Democratic-led cities like New York, putting a strain on the social safety net and uprooting migrants who, in some cases, have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles.

Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, joined Capital Tonight on Thursday to discuss the budget and the impact it’ll have on New York’s immigrant community.

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As expected, questions over Foundation Aid funding dominate New York education budget hearing

BY Jack Arpey New York State

New York lawmakers gathered in Albany Thursday for a joint hearing on the state’s education budget.

Members of the state Education Department were on hand to testify, and as expected, much of the conversation surrounded the governor’s proposal to end "Save Harmless," also known as "hold harmless." It ensures that districts don’t receive less Foundation Aid funding from one year to the next.

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'Save Harmless' continues to be the focus ahead of New York education budget hearing

BY Jack Arpey New York State

This week at the Capitol, we’ve heard about a push for universal free lunches, we’ve heard from lawmakers hoping to put new restrictions on IDAs giving tax breaks, and Gov. Kathy Hochul awarded $100 million for 50 school districts and BOCES to address pandemic learning loss, all as key players continue to express concerns about the governor’s proposal to end a policy known as "Save Harmless."

On Thursday, lawmakers will gather in Albany for a joint hearing to address the state’s education budget. It’s an opportunity for members of the Legislature to hear testimony from those on the front lines.

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N.Y. state Senate GOP's education legislative package aims to counteract Hochul's funding proposals

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

New York state Senate Republicans unveiled a legislative package Tuesday aimed to counteract changes to education funding outlined by Gov. Kathy Hochul in her executive budget proposal earlier this month.

The governor is proposing a $35.3 billion school aid package that includes a 2.1% jump, or a $507 million increase, in Foundation Aid, the primary school funding formula, but despite that increase, as well as aid tied to expenses, some view that as a cut from last year.

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Education Trust-NY previews literacy campaign

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

As part of her education budget, Gov. Kathy Hochul set aside $10 million for teacher training to help educators ease into a new curriculum to teach literacy.

At the same time, the Education Trust-NY is launching what it calls “The New York Campaign for Early Literacy” Tuesday at the state Capitol.

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Education expert explains why Hochul’s budget plan is causing 'dissatisfaction' among school officials

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Over the last few years, Gov. Kathy Hochul has brought school funding up to record levels in New York state by fully funding the primary school aid formula that funds schools.

But according to education stakeholders, under her 2.4% increase this year, many school districts will see a decrease in their aid allotment, which may result in drastic reductions to student programming and opportunities. The reason? Inflation is at 4.1%.

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N.Y. lawmakers, advocates encouraged by Hochul's mental health budget but concerned about workforce

BY Jack Arpey New York State

Gov. Kathy Hochul has made fighting the state’s mental health crisis a priority in this year’s budget, calling it "the defining challenge of our time."

She is proposing $4.8 billion to address serious mental illness as well as mental health issues among younger people. Advocates and lawmakers say they are encouraged but concerned about filling the positions necessary to fight the crisis, while taking care of and retaining the existing workforce.

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New York environmental advocate: 'We’re very concerned' about budget cuts to clean water funding

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Since 2019, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and the Legislature have invested $500 million annually in clean water infrastructure, supporting drinking water and wastewater improvement as well as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) remediation, among other issues.

But in her executive budget this year, Hochul added only $250 million to the funding, which has environmentalists uneasy.

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New York school leaders question Foundation Aid proposal that would alter 'Save Harmless' provision

BY Jack Arpey New York State

Gov. Kathy Hochul is proposing a $35.3 billion school aid package in her executive budget. That’s a 2.4% increase over last year, but there are fears that despite increases to Foundation Aid, as well as aid tied to expenses, education funding could be a major issue of contention this session.

A provision known as "Save Harmless"could take center stage. It ensures that districts don’t see a decrease in Foundation Aid funding compared to the previous year, but as enrollment decreases in many districts, that practice is being called into question.

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Fiscal Policy Institute wants Hochul, Legislature to make N.Y. taxes set to expire permanent

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

While advocates on the left and the right agree that something should be done about New York’s population loss, they don’t agree on how to fix the problem.

One example: The fiscally moderate Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) applauded Gov. Kathy Hochul’s decision not to raise taxes on the wealthy. The CBC’s president stated, “Wisely, the Governor did not include a broad tax increase... Holding to this, and ensuring that temporary increases sunset on time, is critically important to New York’s competitiveness.”

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Hochul budget proposal includes language to expedite up to 5 prison closures

BY Ryan Whalen Albany

Legislation proposed in Gov. Kathy Hochul's executive budget would allow New York to close up to five correctional facilities with 90 days' notice.

The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) said the language allows the state to act "expeditiously to right-size and eliminate excess capacity," thus increasing operational efficiency.

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Upstate transit systems get boost, other road infrastructure funding numbers in Hochul's budget proposal

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

Significant investments in road and traffic infrastructure would continue under New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s executive budget proposal released Tuesday.

Her spending plan allocates $7.9 billion in state operating aid to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Upstate transit systems would receive $323 million and downstate non-MTA transit systems would get $551 million — both a 5.4% increase from last year.

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A battle over New York education funding begins after Hochul releases budget proposal

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

There will be plenty of fights over New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s executive budget, but because this is an election year, the most aggressive battle may be waged over education funding. The reason is timing: During election years, one of the ways lawmakers deliver to their constituents is via education aid.

The fight will be despite the governor’s proposed $35.3 billion school aid package for Fiscal Year 2025, which includes a 2.1% increase, or a $507 million increase, in Foundation Aid, the primary school funding formula making it the highest level of state funding in the state’s history.

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Two rural New York school superintendents discuss financial challenges

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Most public schools in New York are funded in two ways: State aid via the out-of-date Foundation Aid formula, and local property taxes.

If you live in a rural district where the tax base is stagnant or shrinking, the school district that serves your community will end up having to rely more heavily on state aid money, which can be precarious.

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Poll: Strong majority of New Yorkers support raising taxes on wealthy

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

A strong majority of New Yorkers support raising taxes on wealthy earners and profitable corporations to fund public programs, according to a new poll commissioned by Invest in Our New York Campaign and conducted by Siena College that was released Friday.

The poll found 74% of state residents believe taxes should go up for the highest 5% of earners. About the same percentage of respondents, and 72% of upstate residents, believe raising taxes on the rich should be the solution to address any state budget shortfall rather than cutting services, according to the poll.

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New York Board of Regents wants money to study Foundation Aid formula in state aid request

BY Susan Arbetter New York State
UPDATED 7:32 PM ET Dec. 13, 2023

After last year’s record-breaking education budget, which included an additional $3.03 billion in state aid to public schools, the New York State Board of Regents on Monday requested a more down-to-earth budget increase of $1.35 billion.

Still, the request may face some strong headwinds. It’s being made while the state is facing a $4 billion-plus budget gap, and Gov. Kathy Hochul has already stated her unwillingness to hike personal income taxes on the wealthy.

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State comptroller cautions lawmakers ahead of budget season with dismal taxpayer migration report

BY Bernadette Hogan New York City

New York’s top money manager released a new report showing the state’s tax collections were negatively impacted by people leaving the state due to the pandemic — issuing a word of caution to lawmakers ahead of budget season.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli published a review of the data from the state Department of Taxation and Finance, comparing tax collection information between 2020 and 2021 to pre-pandemic trends.

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Hochul to New York business leaders: Employ asylum seekers

BY Seamus Lyman New York State

Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke to New York state business leaders Friday about securing employment for asylum seekers, alluring businesses to New York and tackling large budget deficits in the years ahead.

Hochul addressed the Business Council of New York State at the group’s annual retreat in Bolton Landing on Lake George. It features meetings focused on issues impacting business in the state over the next decade or more.

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How tough will New York's state budget really be?

BY Nick Reisman New York State

The scene is six months from now: Gov. Kathy Hochul is presenting a state budget that declares the days of wine and roses are once again over, the credits will have to be cut up in order to get spending under control. Taxes may have to go up to protect essential services for New Yorkers.

Or, an alternative scene: New York and the national economy is doing far better than expected at the start of 2024. Inflation has been tamed and revenue is flowing to New York to help pay for schools, health care and other major ticket items in the budget.

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