Fahy Announces Priority Items and Provisions Included in Assembly Budget Resolution
The FY 2021–22 Assembly budget resolution is one of the most ambitious fiscal plans in my tenure. Following what’s been an unprecedented year, the Assembly proposal increases state spending by 22% compared to last year to help address the serious and critical challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last year. Facilitating this significant increase to help truly revitalize New York State’s economy are two primary factors; the passage of the unprecedented $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, as well as asking those who have the most to do more in the form of increased taxes on the very wealthiest New Yorkers.
Some of the wealthiest New Yorkers, including billionaires and millionaires, are among those who’ve become $1.2 billion richer since March 2020, according to recent data released by Forbes, unlike so many who experienced unemployment, financial loss, and more amidst the worst economic upheaval since the 1930s. All budgets are the result of compromises — but I’m confident the Assembly’s proposed fiscal plan will jumpstart New York’s post-COVID recovery, provide needed relief to workers and families, and chart a strong, sustainable path forward for our state’s economy.
I’m proud to announce the successful inclusion of priority items in various parts of this year’s Assembly one-house budget and thank Speaker Heastie for his work in ensuring these critical initiatives and projects are funded:
- $750 million Wadsworth Labs
- Modernizing, upgrading, and consolidating the nationally-recognized Wadsworth Public Health Labs while keeping them within the City of Albany is more critical than ever to the future of the Capital Region’s economy and New York State’s status as a leader in international public health and sciences.
- $12 million Capital City Funding
- Fully funds local aid to the City of Albany.
- $100 million for a new Arts Recovery and Revitalization Program
- This state-led public arts initiative will assist with reopening efforts of various arts organizations, remploy artists and others in the creative economy, and provide financial support for the conversion of new outdoor venue spaces.
- Earned income tax credit (EITC) raised from 30% to 40% of federal EITC.
- To further combat income inequality, the Assembly budget proposal adopts a provision of legislation sponsored by Fahy to enhance and expand the state’s EITC.
- $100 million increase to the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) for a total of $400 million
- $14 million is allocated for land acquisition and preservation, among numerous other increases.
- $1 billion in flexible small business grants rather than loans to assist small businesses who have suffered financially during the pandemic.
- $29.5 billion in K-12 school aid.
- $1.4 billion increase in Foundation Aid funding for public schools.
- $49.3 million to close the SUNY/CUNY TAP gap
- Critically, increases the TAP award amount per student by $1,000 and increases funding for student opportunity programs like EOP.
- $1.8 billion in unprecedented funding to achieve New York’s goal of universally accessible childcare.
- $51.6 million for the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA).
- Additional $13.4 million included to continue upgrading Albany International Airport.
Our attention turns now to negotiating a final state budget that creates and grows the jobs of tomorrow’s economy, enacts robust climate action measures, financial assistance for small businesses, and helps working New Yorkers get back on their feet in a post-COVID economy. With the American Rescue Plan now law, we have an opportunity to make transformative investments in the Capital Region and New York State for years to come as we finally begin to ‘Build Back Better’.”
Fahy’s full floor remarks (2 min.) on the Assembly’s budget proposal can be watched here.