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New York State Assembly Approves, Highlights Key Takeaways of 2022 SFY Budget

J.M. Lesinski

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A shot of Stiglmeier Park in Cheektowaga, New York.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

The New York State Assembly recently approved the Enacted State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022-23 Budget, noting particularly on funding in areas of school aid, affordable housing, and economic development.

“The last two years have been especially hard on families across our state, and now they are seeing increased inflation and sky-high gas prices,” Speaker Carl Heastie said of the budget. “This year’s budget puts New York families first, making historic investments in programs that make a difference in the day to day lives of New Yorkers while providing real relief for hard working men and women across the state.”

The budget includes a grand total of $31.2 billion in funding for Public Schools (GSPS), an increase of $2.1 billion from the previous year. Also included is $100 million over two years for the Recover from COVID Schools Program (RECOVS) and a $1.1 billion investment in Universal Prekindergarten (UPK), an increase of $125 million from the year prior.

“The Assembly Majority has always fought to ensure that our schools have the resources they need to provide every student with a high quality public education,” remarked Education Committee Chair Michael Benedetto of the budget. “After nearly two years of interrupted education and uncertainty, this funding will ensure our students and our schools are able to not only get back to normal, but to thrive.”

In the affordable housing realm, the budget includes $1.1 billion in funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and the Landlord Rental Assistance Program (LRAP), including $150 million in federal funding, $250 million for a utility arrears program, $350 million for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), $50 million for public housing outside of New York City, $100 million for additional Mitchell-Lama repairs and homeownership programs, $100 million in funding for the Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity (HONDA) Program, $50 million for land banks, and $41 million in federal funding for flooding victims of Hurricane Ida among its many components.

“This year’s budget will make necessary investments in affordable housing across the state and continue to help families that were financially impacted by the pandemic,” Housing Committee Chair Steven Cymbrowitz stated of the funding. “We’re pleased that the spending plan includes much-needed funding for tenant and landlord rental assistance, a five year affordable housing capital plan, and for capital repairs at NYCHA. We will continue to work to give every New Yorker a path to safe, affordable housing.”

For economic development, the budget allocated $200 million for market and shovel ready sites, $1 million for each of the Centers for Advance Technology (CAT), $1 million for each of the 14 Centers of Excellence across the state, an additional $1.37 million for the Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Development and Lending Program for a total of $2 million, $1 million for military base redevelopment efforts, $500 million for the development of offshore wind ports, $320 million for the New York Works Economic Development Fund, $250 million for the Restore New York Communities Initiative, $50 million in state support for the Cannabis Management Program, $75 million for the Innovation Venture Competition program, $1 million for arts stabilization grants, $750,000 for grants to arts organizations, and $50 million for the New York State Council on the Arts to provide pandemic relief, with $10 million coming through regional arts councils, among its many components.

“The arts are the beating heart of New York,” noted Sports Development Committee Chair Daniel J. O’Donnell of the budget funding. “The pandemic took a heavy toll on the arts and artists across our state from Broadway to local theaters and museums across the state, and many are still struggling. This budget will help our arts and cultural institutions to keep their doors open and keep inspiring us with their work.”

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I have worked as a professional journalist for over five years now, covering the arts, music, food, politics, and culture up and down both coasts of the United States. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY
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