May touts portions of state budget
SYRACUSE — State Sen. Rachel May, D-53, Syracuse, highlighted several pieces of the budget following its passage this weekend. Included are record-setting investments in wages for homecare workers, May said, as well as childcare subsidies for families.
In addition, there is a significant amount of funding for local schools and hospitals that will help these key institutions continue to build back from the pandemic.
Finally, there were several of May’s bills that were included in the budget that will help communities build out broadband and seniors save on pharmaceutical drug prices.
“I am proud of the historic investments we won in this year’s state budget,” said May. “My main priority this year was winning Fair Pay for Homecare, and while we did not get everything we wanted, we made what is likely the single largest increase in wages for homecare workers any state has ever made and will make a real difference in worker’s incomes.”
“Furthermore, I am especially proud of two bills I Introduced that made it into the final budget,” she continued. “The first will help increase broadband accessibility and affordability and the second will help seniors save on prescription drugs. Finally, I am pleased this budget continues record education funding, one of my priorities since day one in office.”
The key provisions include:
-A phased-in $3 an hour wage increase for homecare workers, which when tied in with planned Upstate minimum wage increases will result in a nearly $5 an hour wage increase by December 2023;
-Incusion of May’s bill S8228A, which increases coverage and affordability for prescription drugs for seniors by raising the income limit for New Yorkers ages 65 and up and those with disabilities to 138% of the FPL, raises the income limit for the Medicare Savings Program, and expands coverage for undocumented individuals 65 and up. This will expand affordable prescriptions for nearly 100,000 NY seniors;
-$1.66B investment in childcare, to increase the threshold for eligibility for families up to 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (approximately $80,000 for a family of 4), and raising wages for childcare workers;
-A continuation of the phase-in of the full amount of funding called for by the foundation aid formula, with school districts in the 53rd Senate district seeing an 7.7% increase in total funding;
-$1.2B dedicated to frontline healthcare worker bonuses with up to $3,000 bonuses going to workers earning less than $125K who remain in their positions for one year, and prorated bonuses for those working fewer hours;
-Inclusion of S549, a bill giving explicit legal ability to municipalities to run their own broadband networks. This is a first in the nation bill which, partnered with investments in broadband, could greatly expand the municipalities to provide internet service to residents themselves, increasing quality of service and decreasing cost;
-A host of tax cuts and credits, including middle class tax cuts, boosting the earned income tax credit, reducing small business taxes, and homeowner tax rebates, increasing the amount of money in the pockets of working class Central New Yorkers.
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