This image taken from video provided by the Office of...

This image taken from video provided by the Office of the Governor of New York, shows Gov. Kathy Hochul on Feb. 9. Credit: AP

ALBANY — The Senate and Assembly on Monday proposed adding billions of dollars to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s budget, while seeking to postpone all of Hochul’s policy proposals, including "drinks-to-go" service from restaurants, until after the budget is adopted.

The Assembly wants to spend $5.5 billion more than Hochul; the Senate would increase spending by $9 billion. The Senate and Assembly approved their budget proposals Monday.

In January, Hochul proposed increasing spending by $4 billion, or 3% over the current spending plan. That breaks with past years, in which the budget increase was held to around 2%. The proposed increases would be funded by billions of dollars in federal funding from the COVID-19 pandemic recovery relief program and by projected state tax revenue, which so far is above projections. Hochul’s budget also expects a $6 billion surplus for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

There are no tax increases in the proposals by Hochul or the Legislature, which supports Hochul’s proposal to start a planned middle-class tax cut early, beginning in the coming fiscal year. The Senate and Assembly also propose a reduction in the state gas tax but didn't provide details.

A budget deal is due April 1.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) on Monday defended the proposed increased spending, which include more funding for prekindergarten, day care, public schools and for the public university systems than Hochul has proposed.

"With this budget, the state being in a strong position, we want to make investments … from babies to college students to put our money where our hearts are," Heastie said Monday.

Speaker Carl Heastie said the Assembly's probe of Gov. Andrew Cuomo...

Speaker Carl Heastie said the Assembly's probe of Gov. Andrew Cuomo will continue.  Credit: AP/Hans Pennink

Republicans objected.

"I’m not sure it's sustainable, and it eventually will come down to the taxpayers," said Assemb. Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) said of the Assembly Democrats’ proposal.

Hochul spokeswoman Hazel Crampton-Hays defended the governor’s proposal as seizing "this once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in our future."

The Senate and Assembly also seek to postpone action on Hochul’s policy proposals in her budget, including an effort to allow restaurants to sell drinks to go with meals. The temporary measure, which has expired, helped many restaurants survive the state's economic shutdown during the pandemic.

The Senate and Assembly also propose to postpone action on renewing mayoral control of New York City schools and didn’t agree on Hochul’s fundamental change in recycling. Her program would reduce the flow of waste to landfills by requiring that paper products and other packaging be made of material that can be recycled or reused more easily.

The Senate substituted a similar proposal made by Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), upon which much of Hochul’s proposal is based. The Assembly proposes to move the discussion to the post-budget session.

"We took out, I think, all of the policy," Heastie said. He added his majority conference wants to restrict the budget talks to fiscal issues, rather than decide policy issues under the budget process, where governors have extraordinary leverage.

The session is scheduled to end June 2.

Among the Legislature’s proposed increases are:

  • School aid: Hochul proposed a 7% increase, or $2.1 billion more, in school aid, which would total $31.2 billion. The Senate wants to add $637 million. The Assembly proposes a $642 million increase.
  • Wages for health care workers: Hochul’s proposed $1.2 billion in bonuses and wage increases, including a $3,000 bonus for new recruits to the field and a 5.4% increase in the cost of living. The Assembly wants to increase health workers by 11% and provide $3,000 bonuses to unionized health workers, while providing another $250 million to low-wage health workers not covered in Hochul’s proposal. The Senate proposal also would add millions to Hochul’s proposal through $625 million in funding and a $35 million caregivers’ tax credit.
  • Child care: The Assembly would nearly double Hochul’s child-care funding to $3 billion, in part to help New Yorkers return to the workforce and improve the economy. The Senate proposes an increase to $2.2 billion.
Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

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