Lawmakers to put $300M for Utica hospital in budget proposals


UTICA — State Senator Joseph Griffo, State Senator David Valesky and State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi announced Thursday that the New York State Senate and Assembly will restore $300 million in funding for a new proposed hospital in Oneida County in their respective legislative budget proposals. 

After the funding had been left out of the governor’s executive budget proposal in January, the three lawmakers said the $300 million for the Mohawk Valley Health System will be included in both versions of the budgets proposed by the Senate and Assembly in their respective houses. The funding will still need to be approved by the governor.

Griffo and Valesky will vote in the Senate on Monday to restore the $300 million; the Assembly is also expected to vote on its proposed budget next week.

“Initially, I was dismayed and disappointed that the executive budget had left out the state funding for a new hospital that the Legislature had worked so hard to secure last year,” Griffo said.

“The Mohawk Valley Health System has shown its vision for a new state-of-the-art facility, and they’ve been doing their best to put together a budget, timeline, location analysis and re-use plan for the current facilities to ensure that this hospital project is well-thought-out and accomplished in the community’s best interest,” the senator added.

“But in order to move forward, Mohawk Valley Health System must be confident that the state will fulfill its promise,” Griffo said.

“By now taking this corrective action in the Legislature, we’re hopeful that the governor’s administration will stand by its stated commitment and agree to the necessary funds we have budgeted for this important community project to improve the healthcare services of Oneida County,” Griffo said.

“As a Central New York senator who also serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Health Committee, I have made restoration of the $300 million commitment to the Mohawk Valley Health System a high budget priority,” Valesky said.

“Our singular focus now turns to including this critical appropriation in the final budget agreement with the administration,” the Oneida lawmaker added.

“This funding is critical because we are in need of a new state-of-the-art hospital to better serve the healthcare needs of our community,” Brindisi said.

“I look forward to working with Gov. Cuomo, the leaders of both houses, and my legislative colleagues, to make sure this funding is included in the final budget,” Brindisi added.

“We are now hopeful that Governor Andrew Cuomo will demonstrate his commitment to this project by approving the budget so we can move forward with the new hospital and significantly improve healthcare for our community,” said Scott Perra, FACHE, president and CEO of Mohawk Valley Health System.


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