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Hochul set to unveil ambitious $233bn budget proposal addressing migrant crisis

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Governor Kathy Hochul has been poised to present her state budget proposal on Tuesday, revealing a staggering $233 billion plan for New York’s Fiscal Year 2025.

According to insights from New York’s state budget director, Blake Washington, this proposed budget surpasses the previous year’s $229 billion allocation. Notably, around $2 billion is earmarked to address the pressing migrant crisis in the state, showcasing a commitment to tackle one of the significant challenges faced by New York.

Washington identified the pivotal areas contributing to the increased budget, stating, “The big three are school aid, Medicaid, and migrants.” He highlighted that substantial rises in spending within these sectors, coupled with a reduction in federal pandemic aid, have collectively elevated state operating funds by $5.9 billion. Washington emphasized the state’s dedication, allocating $1.9 billion to address the migrant crisis, acknowledging the need to balance fiscal responsibility without resorting to tax hikes or financial maneuvers.

Despite the financial strain posed by the migrant crisis, Washington underscored the absence of recommendations for increased taxes on high earners or corporations. He emphasized the necessity to align spending with revenues and outlined the budgetary approach as a means to responsibly address evolving circumstances without resorting to tax increases or tapping into reserves.

With a keen focus on education, the budget proposes an $825 million increase in school aid, bringing the total education funding to approximately $35 billion. Washington outlined a strategic proposal to modify school aid funding, aiming to rectify the disparity in aid distribution between affluent and less affluent districts. This proposal seeks to redirect resources to districts experiencing growth and higher poverty rates, a departure from previous opposition by wealthier suburban districts.

Meanwhile, Mayor Eric Adams is concurrently set to disclose his preliminary budget plans for the city’s fiscal year, expressing a 20% reduction in current migrant-related expenditures. The state’s commitment to spend around $2 billion on housing, legal services, and National Guard personnel underscores its dedication to managing the migrant influx. Washington acknowledged challenges and expressed the state’s eagerness to revise projections in the coming years, recognizing the ongoing complexities associated with the migrant situation and related expenses.

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