Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced Tuesday a new budget for FY 2022 New York State Budget. Republicans immediately voiced opposition to record spending, but are totally helpless to do anything but let constituents know who’s raising taxes. NY voters selected a partisan one-party rule in the last election.
Assemblyman Christopher Friend, whose 124th District includes Tioga County, issued this statement: “The budget agreement being passed now has the largest spending this state has ever seen – $212 billion with $5 billion in new taxes despite the significant federal aid New York just received. This budget is irresponsible and doesn’t prioritize law-abiding New Yorkers as it should. In no way can they explain to me how it is justifiable to provide twice the amount of aid to illegal immigrants as they do in small business recovery aid. I stand with New Yorkers and vote no.”
The final budget increases spending on Democrats’ legislative priorities, including:
- $29.5 billion in aid to schools;
- $29 billion in public and private green economy;
- $2.4 billion for rent and homeowner relief;
- $2.4 billion for child care;
- $2.1 billion for excluded workers;
- $1 billion for small business recovery;
- A plan to make broadband internet affordable;
- Legalizing mobile sports betting; and
- Implementing comprehensive nursing home reforms.
Additionally, the Enacted Budget closes the deficit and spends money in the ongoing response to the pandemic and recovery efforts.
The budget agreement includes spending in the following categories:
- Total State Operating Funds: $111 billion
- All Funds spending $212 billion
- School Aid: $29.5 billion, a $3 billion increase.
The official news release from the governor’s office did not mentioned the tax increases on New Yorkers still struggling with the economic effects of the COVID pandemic — lost jobs, business closings, evictions, unemployment.