ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The Assembly one house budget has been published. The final budget deadline is due April 1. The 146-page document details the assembly’s plans to address bail reform, minimum wage, school meals and much more. While the Governor’s budget proposal totaled around $227 billion the Assembly is asking for $233 billion.
“Well, the one thing I’ve heard from constituents, I think we saw the last election frankly, as people are concerned about affordability and crime in your state unfortunately, other than maybe the Suny tuition freeze, I didn’t see this proposal address affordability at all, and it certainly did nothing on crime, they rejected the Governors cashless bail reforms,” said Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay. Governor Hochul’s proposal included giving judges more discretion when it comes to serious crimes. It also includes removing the least restrictive means standard.
A recent study by John Jay College shows those released under NY’s bail reform laws are less likely to get rearrested. “The actual answer is we have to stop crime from being up and as I’ve also said you’re not gonna incarcerate people into crime dropping…I think responsible people wanna give responsible solutions and not just politicize this stuff,” said Speaker Carl Heastie.
The Assembly’s proposal did include a proposal of $280 million to provide free school meals for public schools, it also accepted the Governor’s proposal to increase the cigarette tax by one dollar. And when it comes to a minimum wage increase, lawmakers are in favor of an increase, but the details are to be determined. “We’re for indexing it with the consumer price index of the governors, but maybe indexing it to personal income, or something else would be appropriate,” said Leader Barclay.
The Assembly’s proposal also asks for funding to provide health care for all immigrants which Leader Barclay says should be an issue for the federal government, but Assembly member John McDonald disagrees. “We can have this discussion about whether they should be insured or not but the reality is this, they’re still going to be going to hospitals, they’re still going to be in need of services, and they’re going to get services.”