NY set to hike taxes on rich, boost spending in budget
ALBANY — New York will spend billions of dollars of federal funds over the next year on schools and relief for struggling businesses, tenants and landlords under a spending plan that New York’s Legislature took final votes on Wednesday.
The state Senate passed the budget legislation Wednesday morning, while the 150-member Assembly spent Wednesday afternoon finishing debate and votes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he’ll sign the budget.
Democrats, who won a veto-proof supermajority last year, won passage of their top priorities, including a tax hike on millionaires and a $2.1 billion fund for undocumented immigrants and other workers who have been excluded from COVID-19 assistance. New York will also legalize mobile sports betting and boost school aid by $1.4 billion.
The majority of Democratic state lawmakers have called on the governor to resign as he faces multiple investigations over allegations ranging from sexual misconduct to his months-long refusal to release data about COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents. Cuomo has dismissed concerns that he is distracted, though budget negotiations have been drawn out this year.
Lawmakers passed legislation Tuesday to make sure the state can afford to pay workers Thursday even though the Legislature and governor didn’t pass a budget by an April 1 deadline.
Still, the delayed budget process means thousands of state workers may have to wait at least a day longer than usual to receive their paychecks.
This year’s $212 billion budget is a 9.9% increase over last year’s $194.6 billion budget.
That increase is due in part to extra federal COVID-19 relief that New York won’t get again next year: including an expected $12 billion for state government alone. Freeman Klopott, Cuomo budget office spokesperson, said state spending alone will increase 3.8% under the budget if that extra federal funding is excluded.