Assemblymember Patricia Fahy’s Statement on Final FY2024 NYS Budget
ALBANY, NY (May 3rd) — Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D–Albany) released the following statement in response to news that the Assembly had finished passing the final pieces of New York’s FY2024 state budget:
“I am pleased to announce the adoption of the final state budget while recognizing it was among the most difficult of my tenure in the Assembly. This budget was a compromise — particularly considering the lack of a housing package to address New York’s housing crisis. While work remains on several critical issues, I’m hopeful we can address these issues comprehensively in the remainder of the legislative session with solutions that grow our affordable housing stock, expand the number of housing units, and keep New Yorkers in their homes. Additionally, I welcome that our Capital Region will finally see an unprecedented infrastructure investment of a $1.7 billion, state-of-the-art Wadsworth Public Health Laboratory at the Harriman State Office Campus, to be completed by 2030 — a long-term priority of mine.
As the new Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, I’m proud that this budget rejects student tuition increases at SUNY and CUNY while providing critical increases in operating and capital aid to ensure our campuses remain internationally competitive. To further enhance the world-class education students receive from SUNY, I’m especially proud of the first public endowment fund for the four University Centers, including UAlbany, for $500 million. Additionally, I’m thrilled to secure $3 million to help alleviate graduate student worker fees.
On public safety, I’m also pleased we’re making targeted changes by providing greater discretion to hold repeat offenders for serious crimes, through making precise but limited changes to bail reform. Further, New York is investing $347 million in evidence-based gun violence prevention initiatives to combat the scourge of gun violence that impacts too many communities like ours across New York.
Another historic achievement that was years in the making; our public schools will finally see the first fully-funded Foundation Aid formula ever with the largest school aid of $34.5 billion, an investment in our students, teachers, and future generations. This will ensure that our schools are finally fully funded, and that teachers, and faculty will have the resources they need to provide a holistic, well-rounded education.
This year, we took the most aggressive steps yet to put us on a fast track to meeting our Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates. We will meet the climate crisis head on by coupling energy affordability with our transition to renewables by implementing first-in-the-nation zero-emission requirements for new building construction, and including $200 million for utility relief for New York families. To invest in our workforce, we’re raising the minimum wage to $16 an hour upstate and indexing it to the cost of living and inflation after three years, which will help to lift the wage floor across our workforce for New York families, while also expanding our child tax credit program.
Our healthcare workforce and facilities will see badly-needed Medicaid hospital inpatient rate increase by 7.5 percent and Medicaid hospital outpatient rates by 6.5 percent. These investments, coupled with a raise in wages for home health care workers worth $53 million, will help our healthcare system continue to provide the best accessible and affordable care. Critically, we’re also investing $216.5 million to increase nursing home and assisted living program reimbursement rates by up to 7.5 percent. These investments still fall short of the funding needed to ensure that our healthcare workforce and facilities are made whole in a post-pandemic world.
Despite these wins, there remain areas where more work is needed. To invest in our low-wage workforce and lift incomes for millions of New Yorkers, we did not pass my full Earned Income Tax Credit proposal to expand the credit amount and the number of eligible New Yorkers. The EITC is among the most successful poverty-reduction programs that simultaneously encourage individuals to enter and remain in the workforce.
Our clean energy transition would be furthered with the enactment of my Home Energy Affordable Transition (HEAT) Act, which centralizes affordability and the end of long-term fossil fuel infrastructure expansion. We need to end the 100-foot rule that expands fossil fuel infrastructure at ratepayer expense and include our climate and emission reduction mandates into our public service law.
Separately, I remain committed to ensuring parity for UAlbany and SUNY Binghamton as world-class research institutions within the framework of our higher education budget.
Additionally, in the remainder of session I continue to support; access to legal representation for all tenants facing evictions in housing court, funding the Foundation for Futures program, and including language to better protect tenants from unreasonable rent increases, including potential rent caps.
Further, I continue to support the expansion of land banks, including the Albany County Land Bank here in the Capital Region, to continue to renovate homes, and am pleased we included $40 million for the Homeownership Protection Program (HOPP) which supports homeowners facing foreclosure. The bottom line is, we must grow our housing stock and ensure it is affordable, while better protecting tenants to keep them in their homes.
Nonetheless, this budget addresses many of the important issues that matter to New Yorkers and their families by providing a bold blueprint for a more livable, affordable, and safer state. Finally, I commend Speaker Carl E. Heastie, my legislative colleagues, and Governor Hochul for crafting what is a balanced approach moving forward.”