April 7, 2017

Speaker Heastie Statement on SFY 2017-18 Budget Agreement

The Assembly Majority has consistently advocated for investments that will put New York families and communities first. Despite the many hurdles we faced during this year's budget process, our priorities have never been clearer and we know that critical progress has been made.

We are proud to say that we have fulfilled our longstanding mission to raise the age of adult criminal responsibility in New York State. We are relieved to have finally joined the 48 other states in our nation and we are confident that this is the beginning a new and brighter chapter for the future of our youth.

The Assembly Majority remains committed to securing adequate funding for our public schools. We understand that providing every student with a sound basic education means fulfilling our obligation to fund Foundation Aid. We also delivered increased support for opportunity programs because we recognize that for many New Yorkers, higher education would not be possible without these investments.

This budget builds on last year's $2.5 billion funding commitment for the creation and preservation of affordable housing across the state. Additionally we secured $2.5 billion in water quality improvement funding, an important down payment on the future of our environment and the health of New Yorkers.

This year's budget process has reinforced what many of us already know to be true, that our most important committment is that which we have made to represent the needs of the communities we serve. I am overwhelmingly grateful for the patience, persistence and commitment of the members of the Assembly Majority Conference for their support in delivering on our promise to put and keep families first in New York.