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Thursday, April 18, 2024

New state budget includes increase in minimum wage and billions in school funding

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ALBANY N.Y. – State lawmakers have finally‍ passed⁤ the 2024 Fiscal Year ​Budget, and it’s a ⁣whopping $229 billion. The ‍funds are allocated towards various sectors including education, health care, and development.

NYS Budget FY 2024 Highlights

Education:

The new budget invests $34 billion dollars​ in public​ schools across the state. More‍ than⁣ $280 million will go to free lunches and Universal Pre-K ‍programs. State colleges are getting more than $1 billion while keeping tuition at a flat rate for New York residents.

Minimum Wage:

The budget also includes an update to the state’s minimum wage. Minimum wage will⁢ rise to $16 an ‍hour by 2026.

Bail Reform:

Agreement reached‌ to give ⁢judges greater discretion to set bail for the most serious criminal offenses. $772 million included to address gun violence, reduce recidivism, and support for criminal justice system during pandemic recovery.

Health Care:

Healthcare⁤ systems will also see increased funding. $1.4 billion has been ⁣allocated to help distressed hospitals. Additionally, there is a 7.5% Medicaid ⁤rate increase and a wage bump for home healthcare workers. Last week, healthcare workers called on lawmakers to expand Medicaid access to more than⁣ seven million New Yorkers. They said the budget does‌ not⁢ go far⁢ enough, claiming the Medicaid reimbursement rate needs to be raised even higher for hospitals and health⁤ centers. “Medicaid reimbursement rates have remained mostly flat since 2008. ⁢With an ⁢average annual inflation rate‍ of 2.5%, expenses are almost 40%⁤ higher now than​ they were in 2008,” said Dr. Stephen Turkovich, President of ​Oishei Children’s Hospital, “Raising Medicaid reimbursement rates by 6-7% fills only a very small portion of this gap.”

All Electric Building Act:

Another main sticking point‍ in the 2024 budget is⁢ the All ​Electric Building Act. The act requires all new buildings to run on electric power, not fossil fuels. Starting at the end of this year, new buildings 7 stories ​or shorter cannot include fossil fuel hookups. Starting July‌ 1, 2027, new buildings over 7 stories cannot include⁣ those hookups. The goal is to decrease greenhouse gas ‌emissions and air pollution. It’s a rule already​ in place in New‍ York City and Ithaca. Nine other states have similar energy plans.

Reactions:

The budget ⁢is receiving mixed reactions from Western New ⁣York lawmakers. Senator Sean Ryan touted⁣ the budget in​ a statement to WHNY News. “The final state budget includes several ⁢big measures to ‍make living in New York more affordable while keeping our economy thriving,” ‌he said. On the other hand, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt called the budget a disaster. “The‍ end result of this disastrous budget deal will be more crime, fewer jobs, and continued out-migration ⁣to more ⁢affordable​ states,” he said.

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Alejandro Mendoza
Alejandro Mendoza
Alejandro Mendoza is a dedicated journalist, known for his in-depth research and commitment to truth. A graduate of Columbia University's School of Journalism, he specializes in revealing and reporting on significant local issues.
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3 COMMENTS

  1. I disagree with the increase in minimum wage as it could potentially lead to job losses and higher costs for small businesses. Additionally, while increased school funding is important, it is crucial to ensure it is allocated effectively for the betterment of education.

  2. Agree
    That’s great news! Increasing the minimum wage will help millions of low-income workers and investing in education is vital for the future of our society. Well done!

  3. Disagree with minimum wage increase, potential job losses and small businesses burdened. Hope school funding is allocated wisely for effective education improvement.

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