Albany – The 2023 New York State Budget process was completed Tuesday in the New York State Assembly and it included many funding initiatives.
The late budget supports numerous funding requests to help us overcome the challenges over the last few years; from the devastating pandemic to supply chain issues and inflation however, we still have a lot of work to accomplish.
As for education and higher education, there will be full foundation aid funding for our schools, Early College High School and P-TECH programs ($20 million), and healthy meals for all students. Including funding the Rome School of the Deaf ($903,000). Additionally, we have received an expansion of the farm to school program this year, along with capital and expansion funding for higher education institutions including SUNY POLY and MVCC.
Our state will also be waiving civil service testing fees for state employments testing. Child Care expansion is to include 0 to 4 years old and funding for childcare workforce recruitment and retention grants which will restore the legislative priorities that include Advantage Afterschool and Child Advocacy Centers. This budget also restores funding for libraries ($99.6 million funding and $34 million in capital funding).
In addition, there is secured funding for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) ($60 million) as well as funding for State Route NY ($40 million).
Public safety is always a priority, we have enhanced funding for violence prevention, and anti-gun violence programs and much needed funding for our district attorneys and public defenders.
The bail reform legislation restores judicial discretion to provide degree and control for our justices. In addition, this legislation expands bailable offenses to include domestic violence charges. United Way 2-1-1 funding was also included to support those non-emergency calls.
“This is a start to much needed reform that I have introduced bills to this session” Assemblywoman Buttenschon said.
Also, state assistance to municipalities and residents for lead abatement remediation, along with state aid to municipalities for the operation of local health departments and laboratories.
“I am disappointed that our health care providers didn’t receive a well-deserved raise in funding. It is imperative that we provide for our healthcare workers.” Assemblywoman Buttenschon said, “I am also not pleased with the enacted modification to Medicaid funding reimbursement, and the affect it will have on our counties. I will work to remedy this.” Regarding mental health, EMS services, and behavioral health we understand the needs are extensive.
Our Veterans and the organizations that support them will receive funding for the much-needed resources they deserve ($2.8 million).
In this budget we forwarded green opportunities. It did add farmland protection ($21 million) and clean water infrastructure ($500 million).
“Transitioning to a green energy economy cannot happen overnight.” Assemblywoman Buttenschon said, “We need to have the input from our local officials to determine what is feasible.”
For our farmers, Assemblywoman Buttenschon was able to secure funding for the Cornell Cooperative extension, bridging the upstate-downstate food network divide and an investment tax credit ($1.7 million).
For hunters, the budget bill extends our successful youth hunting program for two more years, as well as expansion of promotion of hunting and fishing in New York State.
“While this budget contains much needed funding, there are concerns over responsible spending and there are still many areas of policy concerns that I will need to address in the next few weeks of session.” Assemblywoman Buttenschon said.