Agreement reached on $212B state budget
Morgan McKay is reporting for State of Politics Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have reached an official agreement on a $212 billion state budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year. The spending plan includes tax increases on the wealthy, a record amount of funding for school aid, and rent relief for state residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be the largest state budget in New York history, but also includes more than $12.5 billion in direct aid from the federal government. The state will increase the personal income tax rate for people making more than $1 million a year by approximately 1 percent and establish two new tax brackets for those making more than $5 million annually and $25 million annually. Once adopted, New York City residents will be the subject to the highest combined local and state personal income tax rates in the nation. The state carved out about $2.1 billion in unemployment benefits for the undocumented, who were employed but not eligible to receive money in the latest federal stimulus packages. The budget also includes mobile sports betting legalization, expected to bring in roughly $500 million a year. And state lawmakers are phasing in $1.4 billion in direct aid to public schools during the next three years, totaling about $4.2 billion once completely phased in. Around $105 million will be directed to expand universal Pre-K to the 210 districts that do not already have this program in place. Another item included in the spending plan is $2.4 billion in rent and homeowner relief for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of immigration status. And around $1 billion is earmarked for small business recovery and $2.4 billion for child care. “I am proud of the strides we have made in funding our schools, helping businesses rebuild, and protecting New York's most vulnerable,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “Working and middle-class taxpayers will receive the relief they desperately need, while the wealthiest New Yorkers will help their neighbors.” Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.