The New York State budget that we have laid out and passed is one that substantively addresses many of the policies Ive pushed for since I took office. It includes a tremendous investment in education with over $24 billion in aid – a more than 6% increase over last year. We listened to the frustrations of students, parents, teachers, and administrators, who felt the brunt of years of unpredictable funding and under-funding, and eliminated the GEA once and for all while also substantially increasing foundation aid.
For years now Hudson Valley families of all backgrounds and sizes have dealt with varying degrees of economic instability, fear or a sense that their dollar just doesnt go far enough. This budget addresses many of these concerns by enacting a middle class tax cut, establishing paid family leave, and introducing an upstate plan to increase the minimum wage. These policies will help families feel more secure and put more money into their pockets.
Our economic viability is dependent on our regions workers ability to get to and from work and our businesses and farms ability to get goods and services to market. The fact is our states infrastructure is crumbling and woefully inadequate. The budget addresses this concern head on and invests over $21 billion for highways, roads, bridges and rail. This investment will not only ensure the roads we travel on are safe, reliable, and accessible but will also create good-paying jobs for our community.