Budget Update: One-House Budget Proposals Released

The Assembly and Senate released their One-House Budget Proposals on March 11th and 12th, setting the stage for negotiations with the Governor on a final budget. Both Houses agreed with several of the Executive’s budget proposals, including proposals to:

  • Extend the suspension of the subsidy revolving loan fund from cell surcharge revenue;
  • Eliminate the Lag Payroll and Salary Withholding Program for newly hired state employees;
  • Improve the effectiveness of the Local Government Efficiency Grant Program;
  • Authorize the pass-through of any federal supplement security income cost of living adjustment;
  • Extend the Internet Point Insurance Reduction Program;
  • Extend the authorization for certain Department of Motor Vehicle fees;
  • Extend the Assistance Demonstration Project for displaced workers;
  • Make technical corrections to the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility tax;
  • Close the amended return loophole for personal income and corporation franchise taxes;
  • Provide for the filing of amended sales tax returns; and
  • Extend the sales tax vending machine exemption for one year;

However, many of the Governor’s proposals were removed by both Houses from their individuals. Some of the most notable provisions that both Houses omitted include the Governor’s proposals to:

  • Expand hate crime eligibility;
  • Establish the Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act;
  • Make to-go alcohol permanent;
  • Regulate “Buy Now, Pay Later” loans;
  • Amend the requirements for Bundy Aid apportionment;
  • Enable New York City to create a pathway to legalize pre-existing basement and cellar dwelling units;
  • Extend the project completion deadline for vested projects in Real Property Tax Law 421-a;
  • Expand the scope of practice for physicians;
  • Support access to more independent living settings; and
  • Clarify the Telecommunication Assessment Ceiling Program

Both Houses also included new proposals that they would like to see in the final budget. As predicted, the Assembly included fewer proposals than the Senate, as they typically prefer to keep as much policy out of the budget as possible. The Senate, however, included a lot of policy proposals. Some proposals that both Houses included are language that would increase the top corporate franchise tax rate to 9% for certain taxpayers with a business income base of over $5 million, increasing the income threshold eligibility for TAP awards, and applying TAP awards to part-time students.

There were also many new proposals that were exclusive to each of the House’s proposals. Some of the proposals included by the Senate are:

  • The New York Privacy Act, which would provide additional disclosure and safeguards with respect to how personal data is used and stored;
  • Require the Office of Information Technology Services and all other state agencies to set up data protection standards, vulnerability assessments, data and information inventories, and recovery protections;
  • Require statutory authorization and impact assessments for state agencies using automated decision-making systems and create the position of Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer within the Office of Information Technology Services;
  • Allow movie theaters to be licensed to sell liquor;
  • Allow for direct intrastate and interstate shipment of cider;
  • Establish a Cannabis Farmer Rescue & Relief Fund, a Cannabis Farmer Loan Program, and a Cannabis Farmer Refundable Tax Credit;
  • Repeal the excise tax of medical cannabis;
  • Allow mobile sports betting platforms to provide for season-long prop bets, and provide that 1% of mobile sports betting revenues shall be spent on problem gambling addictions services, with a minimum spend of $6 million per year;
  • Create a Temporary Commission to study the feasibility of a state-owned public bank;
  • Lift the ban on cameras in the courtroom;
  • The Grieving Families Act, which would modernize New York State law on wrongful death claims;
  • Establish the Universal School Meals Program;
  • Establish a Zero-Emission Bus Agency Leadership Level Working Group;
  • Expand the Office of Mental Health Community Mental Health Loan Repayment Program;
  • Create a new Statewide Health Care Transformation Program VI with language ensuring the geographical balancing of the distribution of funds under the program;
  • Authorize pharmacists to perform HIV tests;
  • Declare general ambulance services as an essential service;
  • Update the inpatient reimbursement rates for nursing homes;
  • Update the methodology used to calculate the reimbursement rates for Federally Qualified Health Centers;
  • Update the Base rate of payment for Assisted Living Programs;
  • Create a Youth Telehealth Mental Health Services Program;
  • Establish a Community Doula Expansion Grant Program; and
  • Establish a Climate Change Cost Recovery Program to require fossil fuel companies that have contributed significantly to the buildup of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere to remit payments to the state based on their greenhouse gas contributions;

Some of the most notable proposals the Assembly included are:

  • Increase the current Personal Income Tax from 10.3% to 10.8% for taxpayers earning between $5 million and $25 million, and from 10.9% to 11.4% for taxpayers earning over $25 million;
  • Require SUNY and CUNY trustees to jointly develop recommendations regarding a new formula for financing the operating costs of community colleges;
  • Require project labor agreements for large-scale SUNY construction fund projects that would cost $3 million or more;
  • Establish a new Supplemental Basic Grant allowance for basic needs for families and individuals receiving public assistance;
  • Establish the Foundations for Futures Housing Program, the Homeownership Opportunity Connection Program, and the Housing Access Voucher Program;
  • Create the Office of Civil Representation and establish a program to provide legal representation in eviction proceedings;
  • Establish an energy affordability program to reduce the residential household energy burden of eligible low-income residential electric customers;
  • Provide a sales tax exemption for the purchase and installation of residential and commercial energy storage systems used to provide heating, cooling, hot water, and electricity;
  • Amend the ConnectAll Municipal Assistance Program to provide grant funding for construction for broadband services infrastructure in unserved and underserved locations only;
  • $2 billion for the Smart Schools Bond Act of 2024, and the implementation of the act;
  • Establish the Increasing Nutrition Support for Prenatal and Infant Residency (INSPIRE) Program to provide cash assistance to low-income households during the last 3 months of pregnancy and through the first years of a child’s life;
  • Allow parents or guardians to enroll their child in Medicaid or Child Health Plus at any time;
  • Increase the cost-of-living adjustment for human services workers to 3.2%;
  • Guarantee full Medicaid reimbursement for telehealth services delivered by Federally Qualified Health Centers regardless of the location of the professional or patient, or modality of the service;
  • Require insurers to provide coverage for epinephrine auto-injector devices;
  • Establish the “First Responder Peer Support Program Act,” to supply peer-to-peer mental health programs to first responders; and
  • Establish the Medicaid Investment Fund;

Now that both Houses have introduced their One-House Proposals, the legislative leaders and Governor will begin negotiations on a final budget, which is due by April 1st.