Saturday, March 6

Governor Cuomo Outlines FY 2022 Budget: Reimagine | Rebuild | Renew

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has outlined the FY 2022 Executive Budget to reimagine, rebuild and renew New York in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Governor presented two budget options, depending on the level of funding the federal government provides to New York following the devastating economic impact of Washington’s failed COVID-19 response. The first option would support New York State’s ongoing war against the pandemic and aggressive post-COVID reconstruction plan. The second option – absent $15 billion in federal funding – would cause pain for New Yorkers by forcing the state to raise revenue, cut expenses and borrow.

The Governor also reiterated his call on federal partners to repeal the harmful State and Local Tax policy – or SALT cap- that cost New Yorkers over $30 billion over the last three years and amounted to the first double taxation in history. The average cost of SALT cap to New York households is $2,600 per home.

If the federal government provides New York with the $15 billion fair share, the State will be able to:

  • Advance a $306 billion infrastructure plan – the largest in the nation – and $29 billion in green economy investments.
  • Enact a $1.3 billion rent relief program, fund $20 billion program to create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes, and provide $128 million for homeless housing and assistance.
  • Institute a $15 cap on broadband for low-income families, provide $150 million to address food insecurity, and continue the $10 million investment in the Liberty Defense Fund to provide free legal consultations and screenings to help undocumented New Yorkers.
  • Create a $130 million Pandemic Recovery and Restoration Program to support small businesses as well as restaurant, arts and entertainment industries that were hurt by COVID.
  • Establish a $40 million Infectious Disease Resiliency Commercialization Fund to fast-track innovations and address emerging health threats.
  • Create a public health corps that will assist in supporting COVID-19 vaccination operations, establishing a best-in-the-nation emergency response public health capacity.

“The story of COVID has many chapters – we launched the battle last year and now we must not only finish it, but begin an aggressive post-COVID reconstruction,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are in a different time and a different world than just one year ago and we shouldn’t be surprised that this budget will look different. We have a plan in place, a strength that we have not had before and I believe our future is bright, but Washington must act fairly if we are to emerge on the other side of this crisis. Despite the federal irresponsibility, which allowed COVID to ambush our state, New Yorkers are ready to begin rebuilding, but for that to happen, we need SALT repealed and $15 billion in rightfully deserved federal aid – and we need it now. After years of federal hostility, I believe the stars are lined up for that to change – we just need to do it. We built the greatest state once before and I know that we will do it again.”

Fiscal Highlights of the FY 2022 Executive Budget, assuming $15 billion in federal aid:

  • State Operating Funds spending is $103.4 billion
  • All Funds spending $192.9 billion for FY 2022
  • Provides $31.7 billion in School Aid
  • Provides $7.5 billion in State support for higher education in New York

2022 REIMAGINE | REBUILD | RENEW ENACTED BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS

Defeating COVID and Strengthening Health Care Delivery

Telehealth: The COVID -19 pandemic has transformed the healthcare delivery system, as methods for accessing care have expanded. Accordingly, the State is advancing a comprehensive package of telehealth reforms that will lower costs, enhance care for vulnerable populations, and increase access to telehealth services by:

Increasing Access to Services through Comprehensive Regulatory Reform by permitting telephonic delivery of care, permitting interstate licensure, allowing certain unlicensed staff (e.g. Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor trainees) to deliver substance use disorder services via telehealth, expanding covered telehealth providers, eliminating obsolete location requirements, expanding reimbursement for patient monitoring, integrating telehealth into the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY), requiring telehealth in commercial insurance and expanding access to mental health and addiction services.

Promoting Innovative Technologies and Approaches by increasing training and education opportunities, establishing a pilot program to facilitate telehealth for vulnerable populations, requiring insurers to offer e-Triage and Virtual Emergency Department, and allowing insurers to satisfy contractual care management requirements by utilizing emerging telehealth solutions that enhance care management efforts and integrated multi-disciplinary teams.

Expanding Nation-Leading COVID-19 Diagnostic Capacity: The Executive Budget will continue to support the expansion of the State’s world-leading testing program, currently able to perform over 200,000 COVID-19 tests on a daily basis to identify disease and mitigate community spread. This will include leveraging the research expertise of Wadsworth laboratories, which was the first public laboratory in the United States to have a non-Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 test approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The State will also continue to operate a network of 22 regionally located drive-through and walk-in testing locations available to all New Yorkers completely free of charge, and will establish a network of rapid testing locations by partnering with testing companies to allow business and entertainment centers to safely re-open.

Launch a New York State Infectious Diseases Resiliency Commercialization Fund: As part of Governor Cuomo’s Life Science Initiative, Empire State Development will create a new $40 million New York State Infectious Diseases Resiliency Commercialization Fund led by Empire State Development and advised by the New York State Department of Health and other private experts to capitalize on New York’s substantial research and development assets and expertise in life sciences, biotechnology and biodefense. The fund will focus on accelerating the growth of companies to fast track the development of innovations that address emerging infectious diseases, public health threats and support economic growth.

Continue COVID Response and Implementation of Vaccine Distribution: The Executive Budget will support the implementation of a statewide COVID-19 vaccination program that will be available to all New Yorkers within the year, ensuring a fair and equitable distribution to vulnerable and underserved communities within all regions of the state. The vaccine program will cover nearly 20 million residents at no cost, driving New York towards becoming the nation’s first COVID-safe state and accelerating the State’s re-opening effort.

Create the New York Public Health Corps: The New York Public Health Corps will assist in supporting COVID-19 vaccination operations and establishing a best-in-the-nation emergency response public health capacity that lasts beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. These fellows will include students in undergraduate and graduate public health programs, nursing schools and medical and pharmaceutical schools, recent graduates, retired medical professionals, volunteer first responders, and other New Yorkers who will receive an intensive public health training curriculum developed by Cornell University. After the COVID vaccination program is completed, New York will build on this Public Health Corps model by continuing to recruit and train public health professionals to be available and prepared to serve the State in any future crisis

Assist Workers in Getting Vaccinated: To protect workers and those returning to work, improve public health, and help the State’s economic recovery, public and private employers would be required to provide four hours of paid leave for up to two COVID-19 vaccinations for each employee.

$100 million to Eliminate Co-Payments for Low-Income New Yorkers: The COVID-19 pandemic showcased the persistent, staggering healthcare disparities in this country and in New York State. Blacks, Latinos, Asians and poor communities paid the highest price for COVID-19. Higher rates of underlying conditions were a major driver of these disparities. Increasing access to affordable healthcare will help address these disparities and help ensure that New York emerges from the pandemic stronger and more equitable.

Through New York’s successful health insurance exchange, the New York State of Health, low-income families qualify for the state’s Essential Plan for free or with a maximum premium of $20 a month per person. However, families and individuals still struggle with the expense. To make coverage more affordable for low-income New Yorkers, Governor Cuomo will eliminate these monthly premiums for over 400,000 New Yorkers, saving families nearly $100 million per year in premiums and enrolling 100,000 New Yorkers who are currently uninsured.

Additionally, the Executive Budget calls for a $420 million investment in rates of payments to Essential Plan providers. This rate change will enhance provider reimbursement, which will promote and support access to vital health care services. Further, the Budget establishes a $200 million Essential Plan quality pool to promote high quality of care, strengthen provider networks, incentivize providers based on performance, and ensure provider access for all Essential Plan members.

Create the New Office of Addiction and Mental Health Services. In a continuation of previous efforts to coordinate and align services for individuals with addiction and mental illness, the Executive Budget integrates the Office of Addiction Services and Supports and the Office of Mental Health to create a new agency: the Office of Addiction and Mental Health Services.

Integrated Licensing: The Executive Budget authorizes the Department of Health, Office of Addiction Services and Supports, and the Office of Mental Health to establish a single, integrated license for outpatient mental health, addiction, and physical health services.

Jumpstarting New York’s Economic Recovery

Enact the Pandemic Recovery and Restart Program: In order to help jumpstart New York’s economy, New York will establish three new tax credits and expand another totaling $130 million to help smaller businesses in the accommodation, arts and entertainment, restaurant and musical and theatrical production industries to recover from the pandemic and bring back jobs to New York.

  • Small Business Return-To-Work Tax Credit: This provides up to $50 million in tax credits to support small businesses in highly impacted sectors in the hiring of additional workers through 2021
  • Restaurant Return-To-Work Tax Credit: This tax credit provides up to $50 million in tax credits to support restaurants hard hit by the pandemic through 2021.
  • Extend and Enhance the Musical and Theatrical Production Credit for Four Years: This tax credit provides up to $25 million in tax credits for the jump start of the industry and the support of tourism activity in the City. In order to support musical and theatrical productions that occur in the State but outside of New York City, the Budget extends this credit for four years through 2025 and doubles it to $8 million.

Educate and Train Workers for In-Demand Jobs: Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State has connected an unprecedented number of workers to jobs, and New York’s colleges and universities have served a vital role in this effort. Workforce development must be flexible and respond nimbly to a rapidly changing environment and the COVID-related recession has magnified the need for flexibility.

Along with an unprecedented increase in unemployment, the pandemic has caused a massive shift in the type of jobs available and in who is looking for work. The Executive Budget includes several initiatives under which New York’s colleges and universities will help rebuild New York’s economy by educating and training workers for in-demand jobs:

  • Pathways Pledge: In partnership with Governor Cuomo’s Reimagine New York Commission, New York is launching a Pathways Pledge among New York’s leading employers, both public and private, to create more inclusive workforces and provide more workforce development opportunities.
  • SUNY’s Free Online Training Center: Governor Cuomo will expand SUNY’s free Online Training Center so New Yorkers can enroll in additional employment certification programs for quality jobs in high-demand growing industries like health care and advanced manufacturing. The Training Center will give more New Yorkers in every region of the state — from rural communities to urban centers — another opportunity to receive free job training certifications and then automatically be admitted to any one of SUNY’s 30 community colleges for future career advancements.
  • SUNY Stony Brook Offshore Wind Institute: New York’s accelerated renewable energy development program is creating thousands of well-paying jobs. In order to make sure New Yorkers benefit from these opportunities, the State is investing $20 million in a new Offshore Wind Training Institute based at SUNY Stony Brook and Farmingdale State College. In 2021, NYSERDA and SUNY will issue the first solicitations for advanced technology training partners, leveraging our SUNY and CUNY system to train the first phase of an estimated 2,500 workers beginning in summer of 2021.
  • Priority Access for Nurses in SUNY and CUNY Programs: In 2017, Governor Cuomo signed into law “BSN in 10” to enhance the quality of patient care and elevate the nursing profession. It requires all nurses who complete an Associate Degree in New York State to complete a Baccalaureate of Science Degree in Nursing within 10 years to maintain licensure by the State. Beginning in Fall 2021, SUNY and CUNY will implement priority admission to nursing programs so the 40,000 nurses and nursing candidates in need of completing their baccalaureate credentials can receive a quality and affordable education within the state.

Advance the Economic Recovery through Workforce Development: The Executive Budget enacts a COVID-19 Recovery Workforce Initiative, which invests $50 million for training in high-growth industries, employer-driven training for low-income workers, and funding for small businesses to re-train and hire furloughed, laid-off, or new employees. The investments will provide durable skills that lead to high-quality jobs and support the growth of small businesses recovering from COVID-19 impacts.

Mobile Sports Betting: The Executive Budget will authorize a mobile sports wagering market. Legalization will provide more than $500 million in much needed revenue for the State to help rebuild from COVID-19 in the short-term and grow what could be the largest sports wagering market in the U.S. into a profitable industry long-term.

Legalization of Adult-Use Cannabis: The Executive Budget legalizes cannabis for adult use. Legalization will not only ensure public health and safety, but provide an opportunity for the State to generate more than $300 million in tax revenue. Beginning in FY 2023 revenues shall be first distributed to the Cannabis Social Equity Fund in the amount of $100 million over four years and $50 million annually thereafter. These monies will be used to support individuals and communities that have been the most harmed by decades of cannabis prohibition.

Support the Unemployed and Protect Workers: Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Department of Labor has paid out more than $61 billion in benefits to over 4 million New Yorkers – nearly 29 typical years’ worth of benefits. The Executive Budget and administrative actions advance a package of reforms to the unemployment system, including upgrades to modernize technology, allowing work search activities to be performed via video conference and online, and creating a centralized virtual portal for workers to file wage, discrimination, retaliation, and other workplace violation claims. In addition, DOL will implement immediate regulatory changes to allow for partial unemployment benefits, based on the number of hours actually worked over the course of a week to incentivize unemployed New Yorkers to assume a part-time job as they search for full-time work. Legislation submitted with the Budget will make permanent new benefit calculations for partial unemployment insurance made possible by technological improvements.

Continued Investment in Tourism: The COVID-19 pandemic caused a precipitous drop in travel, hitting New York’s tourism industry particularly hard. As New York State advances its scientific-based reopening efforts, the Budget includes additional funding to attract visitors from around the world and boost the tourism economy. The program includes a ninth round of $15 million in competitive funding through the Market NY initiative to support marketing projects that promote regional attractions.

Another Round of Regional Economic Development Councils: The Executive Budget includes core capital and tax-credit funding that will be combined with a wide range of existing agency programs for REDC awards totaling $750 million and will target assistance to impacted industries and allow for job creating and retention.

Expand Opportunities for New York’s MWBE Program: Governor Cuomo has been a champion of the Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE). In 2014, he set the utilization goal in State contracting at 30 percent to ensure all New Yorkers have the opportunity to take part in New York State’s growing economy. New York State now has the highest MWBE contract participation in the nation. In fact, state contract spending with MWBE firms has grown from less than $100 million in 2010 to $3.14 billion as MWBE in FY 2020. To build upon this success, the Empire State Development Corporation, in partnership with the Reimagine New York Commission, will launch the “Entrepreneurship Navigator” to provide customized services and streamlined access to start-up programs to help incubate minority and women entrepreneurs in the technology and innovation sector.

New York Works Economic Development Fund: A sixth round of investment equaling $220 million for the New York Works Economic Development Fund will provide additional statewide capital grants to support projects that facilitate the creation of new jobs or retain existing jobs, or fund infrastructure investments necessary to attract new businesses or expand existing businesses in support of economic recovery

Downtown Revitalization: The pandemic has kept New Yorkers at home to save lives, disrupting the flow of commerce in the downtown communities across the State. These areas need support now more than ever. To that end, the FY 2022 Budget provides $100 million for another round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which has been transforming downtown neighborhoods into vibrant communities where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live, work and raise families.

Transportation and Infrastructure

$306 Billion Infrastructure Plan: New York’s $306 billion infrastructure plan includes the Governor’s $206 billion 2020-24 plan and his $100 billion 2015-2019 plan. It grows this year from $275 billion with the inclusion of new, key elements of the Midtown West Redevelopment of New York City, Belmont Station Redevelopment and $1.5 billion in new capital.

Transformational Midtown West Macro Development:

  • Empire Station Complex. As part of the Transformational Midtown West Development and with the completion of the Moynihan Train Hall, the State will turn to the existing Penn Station, launching a comprehensive $16 billion project to expand and reconstruct the existing station. The fully renovated Penn Station, including the iconic new Long Island Rail Road entrance on 7th Avenue that opened on December 31, 2020, will comprise a widened and completely reconstructed 33rd Street LIRR concourse and an expanded and completely transformed station. Additionally, at least eight new tracks will be constructed south of the existing Penn Station to add capacity, cut down on delays, and improve operations. This will be a signature transportation project creating nearly 60,000 direct jobs and involving the federal government, Empire State Development, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New Jersey Transit, and Amtrak. New York State stands ready to work with New Jersey Transit and the Federal government to share in this historic investment for the future of the region.
  • High Line Extension to Moynihan Station. As part of the Transformational Midtown West Development, the Budget includes funding to support the Governor’s proposal to extend the High Line in Manhattan to give pedestrians seamless access to the elevated pathway from the recently opened Moynihan Train Hall. As part of a public-private partnership, Brookfield Property Group will partner with Empire State Development, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Friends of the High Line to build an L-shaped connection from the 10th Avenue terminus of the High Line to Brookfield’s Manhattan West public space.

First-in-the-Nation Affordable Internet for All Low-Income Families: When the COVID-19 virus first came to New York and then quickly began to spread throughout our communities, students and adults alike had to adapt to remote learning and remote work to keep each other safe. Immediately, it became clear that universal broadband was a prerequisite for success in a remote world. Currently, a basic high-speed internet plan costs, on average, more than $50 a month. The Executive Budget includes first-in-the-nation legislation requiring internet service providers to offer an affordable $15 per month high speed internet plan to all low-income households. The State will also require providers to advertise this plan to ensure programs reach underserved populations across the State. To further bridge the gap, the State will partner with Schmidt Futures and the Ford Foundation to launch a new hardship fund to pay for internet subscriptions for our most in need students who cannot afford $15 per month during this crisis.

After nearly $500 million dollars invested to expand broadband internet to 98 percent of the state, New York will also lead the nation in making broadband affordable. Without affordable broadband, people are not only disconnected, they are disenfranchised. The Reimagine New York Commission reported to the Governor that high-quality, affordable broadband must be available to everyone and in New York we will make sure it is.

DOT Capital Plan: The Executive Budget provides $5.8 billion for the second year of a record $11.9 billion, 2-Year DOT Capital Plan that will facilitate the improvement of highways, bridges, rail, aviation infrastructure, non-MTA transit, and DOT facilities. Compared to the final two years of the last DOT Capital Plan, this is an increase of $3.0 billion, or 33 percent.

Strengthening Local Highways and Bridges: The Executive Budget continues Governor Cuomo’s record commitment to funding local highway and bridge projects. Funding for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) and the Marchiselli program is maintained at last year’s level of $477.8 million. The Budget also continues $100 million in highway aid through the PAVE NY program, and $100 million to fund local bridge projects from the BRIDGE NY program. These programs are further improving conditions on State and local roads and bridges.

Supporting Parks and DEC Capital Projects: The Executive Budget allocates $110 million in New York Works capital funding for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation. This funding will aid the ongoing transformation of the State’s flagship parks, and support critical infrastructure projects. The Executive Budget also includes $75 million for the Department of Environmental Conservation to address a variety of capital needs to improve access to State lands, rehabilitate campgrounds.

Clean Water Infrastructure Investment: The Executive Budget adds a $500 million appropriation to support clean water, raising the State’s total investment to $4 billion and continuing to fulfill the Governor’s $5 billion clean water commitment.

Reimagine the Erie Canal: Building on the findings of the Reimagine the Canal Task Force, the New York Power Authority Board, which now oversees the Canal Corporation as a subsidiary, will invest $300 million over the next five years to integrate the Empire State Trail and Erie Canal into a new “Empire Line” system that will stimulate tourism and economic development, address environmental challenges unknown a century ago, and create an asset that will improve the quality of life in communities along the 360-mile spine of the Erie Canal.

Olympic Regional Development Authority Capital Improvements: The Executive Budget includes $105 million in new capital funding for Olympic Regional Development Authority, including $92.5 million for a strategic upgrade and modernization plan to support improvements to the Olympic facilities and ski resorts with a focus on preparing for the 2023 World University Games, $10 million for critical maintenance and energy efficiency upgrades, and $2.5 million appropriated from the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation budget as part of the New York Works initiative.

Making New York a Leader in the Green Energy Economy

Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York will embark on an ambitious Green Energy program that will spur more than $29 billion in public and private investment across the state and create 12,400 megawatts of green energy – enough to power 6 million homes. These investments will not only shift the state to a carbon neutral economy, fulfilling the goals of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, but also spur the COVID economic recovery. Projects include:

Largest Offshore Wind Program in the Nation. The state will contract with Equinor Wind US LLC for the development of two new offshore wind farms more than 20 miles off the shore of Long Island, in what is the largest procurement of renewable energy by a state in U.S. history. Upon completion, the two offshore wind farms will yield a combined 2,490 megawatts of carbon-free energy, bring another $8.9 billion in investment.


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