ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Senate and Assembly have finished voting on the State Budget. Legislators worked throughout the night voting until Saturday morning, finally passing this year’s budget 9 days late.
Governor Hochul announced on Thursday, April 7 that Legislators came to a conceptual agreement on the state budget with it being finalized within the next couple of days. Two days later on April 9, Legislators finished voting and passed the $220 billion budget.
The main bill in the budget known as “The Big Ugly” passed according to reports. This bill included changes to the highly debated bail reform law that allowed the elimination of cash bail for most misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges.
The passage of the budget secured $600 million in state funding for a new Bills stadium in Orchard Park.
Governor Hochul said in a Thursday briefing that $418 million of the state’s stadium funding will come from a gaming revenue fund from the Seneca Nation. An additional $182 million will be allocated to round out the $600 million, officials in the Executive Chamber said.
After the “The Big Ugly” passage, some Legislators were not happy. Republican Senator Rob Ortt released a statement on Twitter saying, “from the back-room-deals of one of the most secretive state budget processes in New York’s history, out came tiny tweaks to the Democrats’ dangerous bail reform laws. Don’t be fooled: this is political window dressing.”
According to Governor Hochul on April 7, the budget will include:
- Tax relief for middle-class families
- A property tax break for homeowners
- Starting June 1, a state sales tax suspension on fuel until December 31
- A tax relief program for small businesses to offset the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Alcohol to go with the purchase of food
- $31.5 billion dollar program for school aid
- An investment of $7 billion dollars over 4 years into childcare
- Front-line worker healthcare bonuses
- Wage increases for health aides
- Funding for the healthcare system
- Funding for the rental assistance program
- Investment in clean energy
- $25 billion for a five-year housing plan to create affordable homes
- $32.8 billion for a transportation infrastructure plan
- The replacement of JCOPE with a commission of 11 members to make recommendations to law school deans to give approval or denial
- Addressing public safety, including bail reform