Assemblymember Wallace: 2022-23 State Budget Invests in Western New York Communities

“After the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, working families are grappling with new challenges, including limited childcare and surging prices of essential goods. That’s why I advocated for and helped pass a budget that provides meaningful relief for everyday New Yorkers, including $162 million in middle-class tax cuts, $2.2 billion in property tax rebates for millions of households, $1.1 billion in COVID homeowner and renter assistance, and a state gas tax holiday for the remainder of 2022. This budget also helps small businesses weather the challenges of the pandemic and inflation through a $250 million small business tax credit for COVID-related expenses.

Child Care Investments

“To help more working families access affordable, high-quality childcare, the state budget provides $7 billion for childcare over the next four years. This will expand eligibility for state subsidies from 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL) to 300% FPL ($83,250 for a family of four) and increase the market rate to the 80th percentile this year, which benefits childcare providers and workers. Investing in childcare is a win for everyone — for the childcare workers receiving fair wages, for the working parents who can better provide for their family, and for the employers who can better attract qualified employees.

Public Safety Initiatives

“Public safety was another top priority for me this session.Amid the nationwide increase in gun violence, I was determined to pass legislation to stop the proliferation of guns and make our streets safe in every neighborhood. I’m proud to have passed a state budget that will strengthen New York’s gun trafficking laws, keep guns away from perpetrators of domestic violence, allow officers to hold repeat offenders accountable, and protective victims of hate crimes. In addition, the budget includes historic investments in initiatives to allow law enforcement and community-based organizations to strengthen gun violence prevention efforts.

Help for Seniors and Veterans

“This budget also makes historic investments in our seniors and veterans. Many New Yorkers with disabilities and seniors have been burdened by the severe shortage in home care workers, who are vital to maintaining these individuals’ quality of life. That’s why I advocated for the Fair Pay for Home Care Act and helped secure budget provisions that raise these essential workers’ wages by $3 an hour. Additionally, this budget provides $7.7 million to expand the Dwyer Peer Support Program and creates a new state Department of Veterans’ Services to help centralize services for veterans, ensuring veterans can easily access all the resources they deserve. The budget also creates a $5 million fund for capital expenses at non-profit veterans’ organizations, such as Veterans of Foreign Wars posts. I will always advocate for resources to support the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms.

Historic Investments in Public Education

“The budget also provides much-needed investments in public education to ensure that students and educators have the resources they need to thrive. I’m pleased that the final budget raises school aid by 7% for a total of $31.2 billion, which includes funding for special education schools, mental health services in schools, and digital inclusion grants to help every child have access to broadband services. These investments will help address the learning loss and mental health challenges caused by the pandemic. The budget also provides $20.2 billion for higher education, including $150 million to expand Tuition Assistance Program eligibility to part-time students, something I’ve been championing for years.

Local Infrastructure Needs

“Lastly, I’m pleased that this budget invests in our local infrastructure, providing a $32.8 billion, five-year Department of Transportation Capital Plan, an increase of 21%. Additionally, the state budget allocates $6.1 billion in funding over five years for capital aid to localities programs, such as Bridge NY, Extreme Winter Recovery and other infrastructure programs. And this budget approves the funding necessary to build a new NFL stadium and keep the Bills in Buffalo for at least another 30 years. Western New York will always be the Bills’ home, and this agreement will preserve the millions in economic activity generated by our hometown team.

“This state budget provides funding for critical programs and services that help further our recovery, maintain public safety, and support Western New York’s working families. I’ll continue to be a strong voice for our community in Albany and bring home real results.”