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Reactions mixed to Hochul’s proposed budget

Alexis Manore
Staff writer
email / twitter
Posted 2/4/23

Legislators are weighing in with their thoughts on Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed $227 billion spending plan for the 2024 fiscal year, both positive and negative. 

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Reactions mixed to Hochul’s proposed budget


ALBANY — Legislators are weighing in with their thoughts on Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed $227 billion spending plan for the 2024 fiscal year, both positive and negative. 

In her proposed budget, Hochul included a $1 billion plan to address mental health, a $337 million investment to end gun violence and protect public safety, a $5.5 billion investment toward energy affordability and clean energy, a $7.6 billion four-year investment for child care, a $1 billion investment for asylum seekers to receive health care and shelter, among other proposed allocations. 

While many of the lawmakers in the area have voiced their support of some of the proposals, like the one that aims to address New Yorkers’ mental health needs, they also decried the large budget and called for a more restrictive spending approach. 

State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo said that while he does agree with parts of the proposed budget, like additional mental health support and further investments in education, he is still concerned with the governor’s approach to spending.       

“This year’s proposed budget doesn’t make the state more affordable, and it doesn’t provide real relief to New Yorkers and families,” Griffo said in a statement. “It lacks specificity, imposes the state’s will on local governments, raids county governments and includes policy, which I have always said should be considered and discussed openly and transparently outside of the budget process.”  

Griffo called out the outmigration that New York has been experiencing, and expressed fear that the proposed budget will exacerbate the issues like affordability that are pushing New Yorkers to leave.  

“We can stop this exodus and improve the future of our state by providing for significant tax relief, improving the state’s economic and business climate, enhancing public safety, limiting state spending, improving infrastructure and undertaking other critical and important measures that will benefit those living and doing business here,” Griffo said. 

Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush criticized the $227 billion spending plan for being out of touch with the struggles that New Yorkers are facing, like rising costs due to inflation.  

“While there are plans in the budget we will find common ground on, including more funding for mental health services and reforming our criminal justice system, the final price tag needs to be negotiated down by the Legislature,” Blankenbush said in a statement. “Taxpayers can’t keep footing the bill for these massive budgets when their return on investment over the last few years has been abysmal.”

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. condemned the proposed spending plan in a statement, saying, “Governor Hochul’s budget proposal will absolutely decimate local governments by hijacking $1 billion of federal funds meant to help us offset Medicaid costs. This incomprehensible decision to pocket our Enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Program (eFMAP) money will cost the taxpayers of Oneida County more than $7.6 million and completely flies in the face of the intention of the Affordable Care Act.”  

“I am dismayed by this egregious act that can lead to higher property taxes and drive up the cost of homeownership and rent for our residents,” Picente added.  

In a statement, Rep. Elise Stefanik called Hochul’s priorities out of touch, and brought up issues like crime and the state’s laws that restrict firearms, which she said are concerns of New Yorkers. 

“New York communities are already suffering because of failed policies from Albany, and Kathy Hochul has only proven she is committed to making them worse,” Stefanik said. “I will work tirelessly in the new Republican majority in Congress to provide a critical check on Hochul’s failed policies on behalf of hardworking families in Upstate New York and the North Country.”


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