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Gov. Hochul: Deal reached on NYS budget

Governor Kathy Hochul announced Thursday evening that a “conceptual agreement” had been reached for the FY 2023 New York State budget.

The announcement comes a week after the state’s original April 1 budget deadline. The budget exceeds $220 billion, about $4 billion more than initial estimates, according to News10 NBC.

What’s included in the state budget?

In her Thursday, April 7 speech, Hochul revealed the state fuel sales tax will be suspended from June through December of 2022. She also announced the permanent legalization of alcohol-to-go at restaurants.

A press release from the Governor’s Office outlined “major priorities” in the budget.

Legislators have agreed to increase pay to health care workers in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget allocates $1.2 billion in bonus pay for health care workers.

Home care aides- who are responsible for providing non-medical assistance to clients- will see $3 per hour pay raise over several years as part of an effort to prevent more people from leaving the profession.

Hochul also proposed changes to the state bail law in order to allow judges more discretion in setting bail for violent offenders. This would alter the state’s bail reform law enacted under former Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The state is also set to invest $7 billion in child care over four years, which more than doubles the state’s current subsidies.

Additionally, $600 million in state funds are allocated towards the new Bills stadium. The large amount of public funds being directed towards the stadium was a major point of contention ahead of Hochul’s announcement and part of the reason the budget was not finalized by the April 1 deadline.

Additionally, Hochul stated $5 billion would be committed to the state’s reserve fund.

Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins did not attend Thursday’s speech, but she did express a desire to have the budget squared away by Friday, April 8, according to WGRZ.

The state legislative houses are expected to pass bills to enact these and other budget priorities.