Assemblyman Billy Jones: Statement on the 2024-25 State Budget

“We finally have a budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year. I will say this budget season has been very frustrating, but we do have a spending plan. I am pleased to deliver funding for many organizations in my district that promote economic development, agriculture, recreation, and veteran services.

“I am glad that we were able to restore foundation aid funding for public schools, which in turn will help educate our children and keep our property tax level. We also saw an increase in TAP that will help our community colleges and public colleges recruit students and make it more affordable for them.

“We were able to restore infrastructure funding for our local municipalities to take care of our roads and bridges. We delivered a rise in AIM funding for municipalities as well for the first time in many years. Regarding public protection, I was glad to see increased penalties for assault on retail workers and efforts to thwart retail shopping theft, as well as measures to shutter illegal cannabis shops.

“There is a lot in this budget, some good some bad. Although there are no new taxes, I wanted to see more relief for middle income earners to help with rising costs. I voted against the closure of our correctional facilities statewide and money going to New York City to deal with the migrant crisis they are under right now. I do agree they need help, but they should be getting it from the federal government not New York State taxpayers. There was no accountability in how this money was going to be distributed as well. It is a lot of taxpayer money. We could have done more for DSPs and those with intellectual or developmental disabilities as well. I was also disappointed that we could not do more for our struggling nursing homes to take care of our seniors and am anxious about how CDPAP regulations formula will be implemented.”