Governor Hochul unveils new budget, says New York will make historic investments in education, infrastructure and health care – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBS New York) — Middle-class tax cuts, property tax refunds, and plans to build three new downstate casinos and a first-ever cemetery for military veterans are all part of the budget something for everyone from Governor Kathy Hochul, who goes down in history by predicting no budget deviations for the next five years.

As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported on Tuesday, barring an unforeseen crisis, the next governor, chosen by voters in November, will have smooth budget navigation throughout his term.

Watch: Governor Hochul Presents New York State Budget Proposal

What a difference a year makes. In 2021, at the height of the pandemic, former Governor Andrew Cuomo had to fill a $17 billion deficit.

READ MORE: Governor Kathy Hochul lays out the agenda in her first State of the State address

Today, thanks to a thriving stock market, plentiful federal aid, and rising tax revenues, Hochul’s $216 billion fiscal year 2023 budget is the envy of its predecessors. She calls it a “new era for New York.”

“We must seize this moment of possibility and use it to redefine New York’s destiny,” Hochul said.

And so she is:

  • Offering COVID-stressed health and mental hygiene workers a $3,000 bonus to stay in their jobs
  • Create the state’s first-ever cemetery for military veterans
  • Providing tuition assistance for 75,000 part-time students at SUNY and CUNY
  • Creation of a billion dollar fund to fix potholes across the state – called POP, “Pave our Potholes”

“This strategy takes us from potholes to no-holes,” Hochul said.

READ MORE: Governor Hochul announces proposal to address critical shortage of bus and truck drivers

There are also plans to accept offers for three new casinos. New York City is in the running, with a revenue potential of $1.5 billion.

“All three will likely be concentrated in the downstate region, but there are no restrictions. If we get an offer that is dramatic, we are not going to rule them out,” state budget director Robert Mujica said.

And then there are the tax cuts:

  • A $1.2 billion middle-class tax cut for 6.1 million New Yorkers
  • $1 billion in new property tax refunds for those earning less than $250,000
  • Nearly 500,000 city residents will receive an average of $425
  • More than 2 million people living outside the city will receive an average of $970
  • $100 million in tax credits for nearly 200,000 small businesses
  • A special fund of 350 million dollars for the assistance to businesses in the event of a pandemic

“Some of the travels, part of the Broadway music industry, were starting to recover before Omicron, but a lot of venues had to close,” Mujica said.

“And this is really the start of New York’s next big comeback,” Hochul added.

READ MORE: Gov. Hochul relaunches plan to make takeout permanent in New York, but naysayers line up

Not everyone was happy with the budget. The Riders Alliance demanded $250 million to stop fare hikes and another $250 million to keep buses and subways running every six minutes. Assemblyman Ron Kim complained that there was no money for a victims’ compensation fund at a nursing home.

The governor will have to negotiate the budget with the legislature, which is sure to support its own priorities. An agreement must be reached before the start of the fiscal year, April 1.

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