This last year, the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing financial crisis has put an incalculable strain on New York – on our institutions, our communities and the health and wellbeing of our people. We have lost billions of dollars in revenue, and we are now facing a daunting $15 billion budget deficit. We will come out the other side of this crisis stronger than ever, but I also know that if we want to do that, we cannot balance this budget deficit on the backs of New York’s working families.
The supply must meet demands of our people.
The demand is great. We must not only get our students back to school, but we must ensure that our schools and day care centers have the funding they need to give New York’s children a bright start for a successful future. With so many struggling with food insecurity, we need funding to support food banks. We have to keep roofs over our people’s heads. And we need to help small businesses who have been devastated by the pandemic. We must do all of this on top of maintaining public health.
While we desperately need help from the incoming Biden Administration and our federal partners, we must also ask the wealthy to do more.
As I said last week when we opened session, New York has been tested before but has always risen, stronger than ever. As dark as these times are, and as steep as the climb ahead of us seems, we will climb out of it together. We cannot do this alone, and we cannot balance this budget on the backs of working families. I have spent my career here in the People’s House fighting to put New York families first, and the Assembly Majority will keep fighting to ensure that that is exactly what this year’s budget does.