ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Money is moving at New York’s Capitol this evening after Governor Kathy Hochul addressed the state Tuesday in her executive budget proposal. She laid out where she wants to invest money for New Yorkers.
The Governor covers a wide range of issues, including two billion dollars for pandemic recovery, $31 billion on education, $10 billion on healthcare, and $32.8 billion on infrastructure. The budget is not only her first budget as Governor, but it is also her only budget before she goes up for re-election.
“I declared a new era for New York and it continues today,” Hochul said Tuesday.
A new era will cost New York $216 billion dollars, which is $4 billion more than last fiscal year’s. Experts say spending more money is not necessarily a bad thing for the Empire State.
“The bottom line is they got it. This is the massive federal funding that has come in through the
pandemic relief and unexpected tax revenue,” Michael Dawidziak, political consultant, said.
The Federal Relief Money and revenue from the year before all goes into the New York General Fund, which is used to calculate the state budget. Governor Hochul noted this would be a smart investment that does not rely on federal funds for the future and it would have no out-year gaps.
“All these commitments are either one-time expenditures or are supported by the expectation of reasonable growth in revenue as projected by our division of the budget,” Hochul continued.
One question not answered in Gov. Hochul’s address was where the money will go and what percentage of the money will benefit downstate versus upstate.
“Geographically in the state, where does the money get spent? What percentage of that is going to go to New York City as compared to the rest of the state?” Dawidziak questioned.
While the budget presented provides several one-time investments in critical areas, it was missing something that Dawidziak says influenced the hyper-local 2021 elections. There is a $224 million dollar investment in law enforcement, which is considerably smaller compared to the other budget priorities.
“The budget seems like it’s all good stuff, but it’s kind of glaring what’s left out,” Dawidziak said. “Missing from this budget is any law enforcement dollars whatsoever.”
2022 not only brings a new year and budget, but also a Governor’s race. How will this impact November?
“It is certainly an extreme rarity for a Governor of New York to be able to present the budget and basically be able to say we’re flush with cash. It’s a wonderful thing,” Dawidziak concluded.
As the spring approaches, all eyes will be on her re-election campaign. Hochul announced this week she raised a record amount for her campaign. New York is waiting to see how her budget money is used, but her campaign dollars as well.