Governor Kathy Hochul announced the highlights of the historic FY 2023 Budget, which blends record investments into the long-term future of New York along with significant one-time aid to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented fiscal responsibility.
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This historic blueprint meets the once-in-a-generation moment to invest in New Yorkers by rebuilding the healthcare economy, building the education system of the future, reducing the tax burden for those who need it most, improving the state's transportation and housing infrastructure, combating climate change, creating jobs, and improving public safety and ethics in government.
In pairing bold vision with fiscal responsibility, the Budget brings the State's reserves to 15 percent of State Operating Funds spending by 2025 - a level never seen before. Planned deposits are: $5 billion in FY 2022, $5.1 billion in FY 2023, $2.5 billion in FY 2024 and $2.9 billion in FY 2025.
The budget agreement includes a historic $20 billion multi-year healthcare investment in the FY 2023 State Budget. Creating better working conditions for healthcare workers will be a priority, with $1.2 billion dedicated to frontline healthcare worker bonuses, as well as a $4.5 billion multi-year investment in payment reform.
Other landmark investments include $2.4 billion being directed to improving healthcare infrastructure and $3.9 billion in funding to provide aid to hospitals struggling financially from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another $7.7 billion will be spent over four years to increase the home care worker minimum wage by $3. These groundbreaking investments will work together to improve working conditions and grow the workforce by 20 percent over the next five years, and improve the healthcare industry for all New Yorkers.
The State Budget provides unprecedented support to build the education system of the future with $31.5 billion in total School Aid for School Year 2023, the highest level of State aid ever. This investment represents a year-to-year increase of $2.1 billion (7.2 percent) compared to School Year 2022, including a $1.5 billion Foundation Aid increase, $125 million of additional funding for full-day prekindergarten, and a $451 million increase in all other School Aid programs.
The Budget also includes transformative investments in SUNY and CUNY with more than $500 million in additional support of the systems' operations and $2.2 billion to fund capital projects on SUNY and CUNY campuses. Additionally, it includes $150 million to expand TAP, a critical lifeline for students that is currently largely unavailable to those studying part time, to cover students enrolled in six or more credits of study at a SUNY, CUNY, or not-for-profit independent college.
This investment in TAP is estimated to provide a life changing opportunity to 75,000 additional New York students annually.
The Budget includes a new historic $32.8 billion five-year capital plan for programs and proposed projects administered by the New York State Department of Transportation. The adoption of this new capital plan, the largest investment ever in the state's transportation infrastructure, represents a $9.4 billion (40.2 percent) increase over the prior five-year plan period.
The new transportation plan prioritizes and refocuses investments on State and local roads and bridges in smaller municipalities; makes our state's communities more resilient to extreme weather events; and incorporates strategic investments to reconnect neighborhoods and facilitate regional economic growth, while creating thousands of new jobs.
The Budget will authorize an additional $1.2 billion for the landmark Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act, bringing the total investment to $4.2 billion.
In addition to the Bond Act, the Budget contains a record $400 million Environmental Protection Fund to support climate change mitigation projects, improve agricultural resources, protect our water sources, advance conservation efforts, and provide recreational opportunities for all New Yorkers, as well as a $500 million investment to develop the State's offshore wind supply chains and port infrastructure.
This nation-leading initiative will create 2,000 jobs in a growing industry, while helping to make New York the offshore wind capital of the country for years to come.
The Budget also helps protect public health and advances environmental and economic restoration by extending and enhancing New York's successful Brownfield Cleanup Program and includes an additional $500 million in clean water infrastructure funding, bringing the State's total clean water investment to $4.5 billion since 2017. ■