Notes from Governor’s Press Conference re: State Budget

April 7, 2022

Here are our notes from the Governor’s recently concluded press conference in which she was the sole representative (Assembly and Senate leaders absent – said to be working on ironing out final details, but at this point there is a ‘conceptual agreement on a new state budget.

Clean Slate Act was eliminated from budget discussions – likely to be taken up during the second half of the legislative session.

Housing: $25b over 5 years that includes mental health housing and support services

Budget will include a 7 month state sales tax holiday on gas (fuel) June 1 through Dec. 31. Unclear whether counties will follow suit and suspend county sales tax.

$31.5B for total school aid, $2.1 increase from last year

$4.2B environmentaL bond act.

Small businesses tax credit $250m: tax relief program (safety in the workplace, PPE, testing kits)

$224m for gun violence prevention services

$125m additional for full day preK, $151m for other programs (mental health professionals in schools)

Higher Ed: $150m for TAP for part time students benefiting 75k students

Deal on alcohol to go – Allowed for the next 3 years. Containers must be sealed. Must be purchased along with food. No sales (to go) for full bottles of liquor or wine.

$7B in new investments for child care expansion however much of these funds are federal in origin and so, can not benefit undocumented children.

Essential Plan health insurance benefits will be available to undocument immigrants over age of 65.

Budget places $5B in the state’s reserve fund.

$2.4B for healthcare infrastructure (no details)

$1.2B in healthcare worker bonuses (no details)

$3.9B over 4 years for hospitals. (This is an 88% increase over previous 4 year spending)

Goal: Grow healthcare workforce by 20% (total) over the next 4 years.

Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin will be Hochul’s running mate in November.