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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Hochul’s Conceptual Budget Deal.

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On April 28, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a “conceptual” budget deal with the state legislature, marking a significant milestone in her first year in office. The announcement comes after weeks of intense negotiations between the governor’s office and legislative leaders, as they worked to craft a spending plan that addresses the state’s pressing needs while also balancing the competing demands of various interest groups.

According to Hochul, the proposed budget includes several key provisions aimed at addressing the state’s most pressing challenges, including investing in infrastructure, increasing funding for education, expanding access to healthcare, and supporting small businesses. The governor emphasized the importance of these investments in driving economic growth and creating a more equitable future for all New Yorkers.

One of the major components of the proposed budget is a significant increase in funding for infrastructure projects, including transportation, housing, and broadband. Hochul noted that these investments are critical to creating jobs, boosting economic activity, and improving the quality of life for residents across the state. The proposed budget includes funding for a range of projects, from repairing aging bridges and roads to expanding affordable housing options and providing high-speed internet access to underserved communities.

In addition to infrastructure investments, the proposed budget also includes significant increases in funding for education. Hochul noted that this is a top priority for her administration, and that the proposed budget includes measures to expand access to quality education for all New Yorkers, regardless of their zip code or socioeconomic status. The proposed budget includes increased funding for K-12 schools, as well as investments in higher education and workforce development programs.

Expanding access to healthcare is another key component of the proposed budget. Hochul noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of access to quality healthcare, and that the proposed budget includes measures to expand coverage and reduce costs for New Yorkers. The proposed budget includes funding to expand Medicaid coverage, increase access to mental health services, and address health disparities in underserved communities.

Finally, the proposed budget includes several provisions aimed at supporting small businesses, which have been hit hard by the pandemic. Hochul noted that small businesses are the backbone of New York’s economy, and that the proposed budget includes measures to provide relief and support to small businesses as they work to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic. The proposed budget includes funding for grants and loans to small businesses, as well as measures to reduce regulatory burdens and support entrepreneurship.

While the proposed budget represents a significant step forward in addressing the state’s most pressing challenges, it still must be approved by the legislature before it can be enacted. Hochul acknowledged that there are likely to be further negotiations and compromises before a final budget is approved, but expressed confidence that a deal can be reached that benefits all New Yorkers.

Overall, the proposed budget represents a bold and ambitious vision for the future of New York, one that emphasizes investment in infrastructure, education, healthcare, and small businesses. If approved, it has the potential to drive economic growth, promote equity and opportunity, and improve the lives of millions of New Yorkers.

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