April 9, 2022
From Governor Kathy Hochul:
The historic budget will include major priorities that deliver for New Yorkers, including:
- Tax relief for middle-class New Yorkers and small businesses;
- Suspending fuel taxes to tackle the high cost of gasoline which has surged in recent months as a result of the war in Ukraine;
- Helping to support small businesses most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, like restaurants, by authorizing the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages;
- Billions of dollars to rebuild the health care workforce, support home care workers, and build the health care system of the future;
- A historic investment in education to strengthen our higher education institutions and support our teachers and school employees;
- Increasing funding for and access to child care;
- A historic investment in pandemic recovery funding;
- A comprehensive housing plan to make living in New York more affordable;
- A record-level investment in a five-year transportation infrastructure plan;
- A record investment in clean energy infrastructure, climate resiliency and preservation;
- Improving ethics oversight and restoring trust in state government by replacing JCOPE with a new Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government; and
- Moving forward toward a safer, more just New York by cracking down on the trafficking of illegal guns, stopping the cycle of repeat offenders, protecting the victims of domestic violence and hate crimes, and investing in mental health infrastructure.
Senator Tom O’Mara’s Statement On The Budget:
State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) today applauded the repeal of the state’s costly “fiber-optic tax” in the 2022-2023 budget. Over the past several weeks, O’Mara and Senate GOP colleagues have been calling for the repeal action noting how it has hindered efforts to expand broadband access and close the digital divide in rural communities. O’Mara, a member of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, said, “Access to high-speed Internet has become a fundamental need for our families, businesses, farms, local economies, first responders, schools, and the overall success and strength of rural, local communities. We have worked to ensure that rural, upstate New York not be left behind in this mission to bring effective broadband to all New Yorkers, but new initiatives and investments are needed. This ‘fiber tax’ repeal is the single most important action the state can immediately take to try to ensure that broadband development across rural, upstate New York receives an equal and fair commitment.” The Senate approved the budget legislation providing the repeal earlier today.
From Senator George Borrello:
“The Governor and the Democratic supermajorities in each house of the Legislature faced the task of putting together a budget with the stars perfectly aligned in their favor. The state is flush with cash, courtesy of the federal government’s pandemic relief funds and higher than expected revenues, and one party controls all three branches of government. Under these conditions, putting together a strong, responsible and on-time budget should have been easily within reach. Yet, it proved too much for our current leadership. The result was passage, eight days late, of a massive $220 billion budget laden with an unsustainable level of spending. While there are positive items in the spending plan that will help struggling middle-class taxpayers, which I supported, there are also a host of missed opportunities to truly change some of the most serious problems facing our state.
From Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes:
“This budget is about timing and opportunity – and the governor’s failure on both accounts. Not only is the budget over a week late after being negotiated by one party rule behind closed doors, but it missed the opportunity to deliver for the people of this state – precisely when citizens needed new leadership the most.
“The budget overspends recklessly to the detriment of every taxpayer today and for generations to come. This $220 billion budget – by far the largest budget in our state’s history – could have provided lasting tax relief and allowed our state to get its financial house in order. This bloated budget spends more than states like Florida and Texas combined – and delivers less which is why so many New York State residents are fleeing to these southern, more affordable states.
“An upcoming gas tax holiday at the pump and tax rebate checks are both helpful and welcome, but not enough and again, temporary solutions only. Though I did support these provisions of the budget, I would have preferred real tax reforms, controlled spending, or the fiscal prudency that would help ensure New Yorkers could afford calling New York home for generations to come.”