NY Gov. Hochul touts new state budget in Plattsburgh
New York Governor Kathy Hochul was at NOVA Bus in Plattsburgh Tuesday touting the new state budget and what she says are its benefits for the North Country region.
Governor Hochul walked through each section of the $220 billion budget noting overall state spending and how much would be available for the North Country. The Democrat discussed investments in health care, transportation, education, tax cuts, workforce assistance and housing assistance, clean energy, and safety.
“This is a budget that meets the needs of New Yorkers," Hochul said. "We are still in this almost post-pandemic world with a lot of people are still hurting. So our budget made sure that middle class families will have more back in their pockets with tax cuts and property tax relief and a cut in the sales tax for gas. So I focused, our budget focused on helping people as well as investing in education and health care and child care as well as finally making sure that we have money set aside for a rainy day. We’ll have the highest amount of state reserves available for any future emergencies that we’ve had in the history of the state I believe. So we were very socially responsible taking care of our families and our small businesses while also making sure we have money in reserves. So it’s a very responsible budget.”
Hochul said there are some budget areas unique to the region, such as money to help ORDA prepare for the 2023 World University Games in Lake Placid that start January 12th.
“It’s going to have a profound region wide impact, not just in Lake Placid and Gore and Whiteface but right here," the governor said. "The hotels and restaurants. So get ready. And also we have to continue investing in ORDA as well. I mean it’s not in the neighborhood per se but it is the region that has to thrive. So we’re putting an additional $105 million in new capital funding to make the enhancements in all the different facilities to make sure that they are world class.”
North Country Chamber President Garry Douglas noted that when Hochul became governor they presented her with a list of the region’s priorities.
“We said let’s close the remaining gaps in broadband," Douglas said. "We have more than a billion dollar investment in broadband this year. We need major new state support for child care. We have it. We said we need to fix the way our community colleges are funded including the tuition assistance program so it supports part-time study and things like apprenticeships and credentialing. She proposed that and it now is the law of the land. We said that we need support, we need understanding in terms of our transportation equipment and aerospace cluster, it’s role in the entire green economic agenda, and we have some real opportunities ahead.”
Governor Hochul says the state’s new budget, which was passed a week late, includes a 15 percent reserve fund, significantly above the previous 4 percent reserve.