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Local lawmakers react to $237B state budget: Public safety, affordability major unresolved issues

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  • Staff Report 

By now you’ve likely read about parts of the 2025 New York State Budget, which was just finalized this past weekend by lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul in Albany.

The massive spending plan includes several major policy initiatives, including a crackdown on illegal cannabis operations and the introduction of a $40 million law enforcement-run retail crime task force.

But what are some of the state’s largest stakeholder groups and local lawmakers saying about it?

Here’s a look as reaction pours in from the process.

New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials

“NYCOM is grateful that after 15 years, the Governor and the State Legislature agreed to an additional $50 million in unrestricted state aid for cities, villages and towns. Our members made their voices heard in every corner of the state which led to a positive outcome not just for local governments, but for all of New York. We firmly believe that the only way to make our state safer, stronger and more affordable is by working together — and local officials are more than ready to do that. We are confident that the benefits of this increase will clearly demonstrate to our state leaders the value that comes from investing in their municipal partners and hope that this will pave the way for consistent and meaningful support for our communities going forward.”

NYSUT President Melinda Person

“NYSUT and nearly 700,000 members across the state this year made their voices heard to win a budget that supports public schools, colleges and the labor movement. We thank the Legislature and governor for a final agreement that demonstrates these priorities. This budget will support our current educators and attract new educators by continuing the process of fixing Tiers 5 and 6 in the pension system. It will boost the impact of our colleges and universities with additional funding and require a collaborative process to revitalize SUNY Downstate. It will restore the majority of proposed cuts to public school funding and importantly, will begin the process of updating the Foundation Aid formula to ensure every student in the state has access to a sound, basic education. New York can and will lead the country with strong communities, engaged citizens and a world-class workforce. Our union advocacy in this year’s state budget puts us on the road to do just that.”

Assemblyman Jeff Gallahan (R-131)

“This year’s state budget is a failure, and I had no choice but to vote ‘no.’ While there were some positive items included in the budget that I advocated for, unfortunately, the negatives outweigh these by far. This year’s massive budget should have included more policies to protect New York citizens from crime, and protect our police and corrections officers from harm. Instead, it fails to properly address public safety issues. The governor and the Assembly Majority Conference’s strategies throughout the budget process have been dysfunctional, and their out-of-control spending has resulted in a record-breakingly bloated budget size that has increased 39% since 2018. This will only contribute to New York state’s continued economic decline. This is shameful, and New Yorkers will not tolerate it. I voted ‘no’ on this irresponsible state budget—it does not address New Yorkers’ needs.”

Senator Pam Helming (R-54)

“This budget does not adequately address the concerns I consistently hear from my constituents. It does not make New York safer or more affordable. It does not safeguard the right of seniors and individuals with disabilities to be cared for in their homes. It does not help our Upstate communities expand housing or build infrastructure. It does not relieve small businesses of costly regulations or protect employers and jobs. It does not provide much-needed tax relief. Restoring school aid was an important priority that we fought for and won. But this budget fails my constituents and our district in too many ways.”

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli

“After a lengthy process, the state budget includes increased spending and policy changes on issues of importance to New Yorkers, including housing, health care, mental health and education. While year-over-year spending growth appears to be significant, reserves are to be maintained at 15% of spending, consistent with recommendations I have long advocated. Adequate reserve levels are critical, as out year budget gaps and an uncertain economy create future fiscal pressure. I am pleased the final budget does not limit the Comptroller’s review of terms and conditions of backdoor debt by public authorities. The Comptroller’s oversight is essential to ensuring transparency and accountability for New Yorkers. My office will release an analysis in the coming weeks as more details become known about revisions to the state’s financial plan.”