SENATOR SEAN RYAN: STATE BUDGET IS A SIGNIFICANT VICTORY FOR UPSTATE AND WESTERN NEW YORK

New York State Senator Sean Ryan announced details of the FY 2021-2022 state budget. The budget delivers middle-class tax cuts, transformational investments for education and small businesses, and enhanced support for the communities of Upstate New York.

The budget ensures that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share to build a balanced and equitable fiscal foundation capable of providing vital support and services for working- and middle-class families, as well as businesses still struggling as New York recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Ryan worked tirelessly to ensure that the budget included investments that would benefit communities in Upstate and Western New York. Upstate budget highlights include $3 million in funding for upstate legal services, $3 million of support for refugee resettlement agencies, and $1 million committed to broadband mapping that will help identify broadband gaps throughout the state. Additionally, schools in New York’s 60th Senate District received a $90.7 million increase in aid.

The budget also renews the Senate Majority’s commitment to investing in the arts and in agricultural industries to spur the state’s economic rebound. Further, this budget recognizes the sacrifices that healthcare and other frontline workers made during the pandemic.

Senator Sean Ryan said, “After a year filled with unexpected challenges, it was important that the New York State legislature enact a budget that would provide unprecedented aid to businesses and residents of our state who are still struggling to recover from the pandemic. This budget is historic in its scope; it lays the groundwork not only for an economic recovery for our state, but also for years of support for New Yorkers. I am proud to have contributed to this process, and especially proud to have helped ensure that Erie County and the entirety of Upstate New York were prioritized during negotiations.”

Highlights of the FY 2021-2022 state budget:

Library Funding

As chairman of the Senate Libraries Committee, Senator Ryan led the effort to restore $7.1 million of library aid and secure a $20 million increase in library construction aid. The final budget includes $34 million in total library construction aid.

Support for Upstate Communities

The Senate Majority is working to build back a stronger economy as New York recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The FY 2021-2022 budget is a significant victory for communities in Upstate New York. Investments that will have notable effects on these communities include:

  • $1 million allocated to broadband mapping
  • $3 million of funding for upstate legal services
  • $3 million of funding for refugee resettlement agencies (200% increase)
  • 2-year extension of the brownfield tax credit
  • $440 million in property tax relief
  • $3 billion Environmental Bond Act
  • Full restoration of Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM) funding for local governments
  • Makes “Nourish NY” program permanent
  • $2 million to expand early voting initiatives
  • Institutes a three-year SUNY tuition increase freeze
  • Increases the maximum award under the Tuition Assistance Program by $500 – the largest increase to TAP since 2000, and the first time TAP has been increased since 2014
  • $350 million in transportation infrastructure investments:

o   $100 million increase for CHIPS

o   $100 million in new funding for Extreme Winter Recovery funding

o   $50 million increase for PAVE-NY

o   New $100 million highway and bridge project fund for localities called the City Touring Routes program

Investing in Western New York

New York students and educators have navigated tough times in adapting to remote learning and safely reopening our schools. The budget takes transformational steps to increase state and federal resources to ensure that all of New York’s students receive the high-quality education they deserve and that all teachers are adequately supported. Senator Ryan worked to ensure that Western New York in particular would reap the benefits of the enhanced funding in the FY 2021-2022 budget. Some areas of note that will impact Western New York:

  • $90.7 million increase (9.4%) in aid for 60th Senate District schools
  • $29.5 billion total for New York schools
  • $1.4 billion to close the state’s Foundation Aid gap
  • Restores $35 million in Bundy Aid to support the State’s private independent colleges and universities such as Canisius College, Hilbert College, and D’Youville College
  • $400 million middle-class tax cut
  • Two-year delay for 340B Medicaid prescription drug benefit carveout, benefiting Federally Qualified Health Centers such as Evergreen Heath and Jericho Road Community Health Center
  • $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund
  • $13.5 million for Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

COVID Recovery Assistance

The Senate Majority understands that families continue to recover from the economic downturn of the pandemic. The budget supports small businesses who have suffered throughout this pandemic and delivers investments to support job growth opportunities across New York State including:

  • $1 billion in small business assistance
  • $2.4 billion in COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance
  • $600 million in homeowner assistance, including $20 million a year for the Homeowner Protection Program for the next three years
  • A $2.4 billion infusion to the child care system to increase access and support providers
  • $40 million for the Arts and Cultural Organization Recovery Grant Program to help the non-profit arts sector in New York State recover from effects of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The Pandemic Recovery and Restart Program that creates a $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit