Governor Kathy Hochul will soon unveil her state budget plan.
Typically, this document reflects the tough political decisions that must be made by governors in their first year of a 4-year term. That said, it may be different this time around since Hochul has a multi-billion dollar surplus at her disposal.
“Every governor in the first year of the four-year term, that’s when they have to make the toughest decisions, usually in the context of the budget,” said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “This year, this governor probably has probably her best budget in terms of revenues being available. How is she going to squirrel away resources for the out years when the revenue dries up?”
Over the next three months, Hochul and lawmakers will be negotiating a state budget that will determine funding for healthcare and schools, as well as whether the wealthiest New Yorkers will face higher taxes.
Progressive Democrats, such as Assemblywoman Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, are pushing for Hochul to reverse her opposition to tax increases in the budget in order to fund “vital resources” and “strengthen the safety net” for working class New Yorkers.
However, business organizations have opposed such measures, as well as a push to increase the minimum wage, stating that tax increases will drive more people out of the state. A report released last month by the U.S. Census found that New York had the highest out-migration rate in the country last year, a trend that Hochul addressed in her inaugural address, saying, “We must reverse the trend of people leaving our state in search of opportunities elsewhere. We can do this.”
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