Budget Deadline Officially Extended to April 4

Gov. Hocul at the State Capitol on April 28./Cindy Schultz for The New York Times


By Shlomie Katash


   On March 28, the New York State legislatures passed a spending extender offered by Governor Kathy Hochul that will keep the government running until April 4, past April 1, the end of the fiscal year and traditional budget deadline. This move signaled that, for the third year in a row, another late budget would be coming, though how late depends on the speed of the continued negotiations.

   “We are working hard to reach agreement on billions of dollars of spending and revenue,” said State Senator Liz Krueger in the Senate Session. “Since we are planning to go home today, with Good Friday tomorrow and Easter on Sunday, it is not realistic that we will get a complete budget done by April 1.”

   The budget is split into ten separate bills, all reserved for different issues and spending targets. According to City & State, the bill reserved for paying state debts is usually passed without negotiation before the April 1 deadline, to ensure that the state does not default on its loans. This year, the bill was successfully passed on Mar. 28 along with the extender, though Assembly Republicans forced floor debates surrounding ideas of fiscal responsibility that lasted hours, according to The Daily Gazette

   Since the beginning of her tenure, Hochul has made housing a primary concern of hers during the budget process, pushing for the state to fund the building of more homes. 

   “Housing unsheltered New Yorkers, long-term residents, and new arrivals alike remains a challenge as long as we lack sufficient affordable housing options,” Hochul said in her Budget Address on Jan. 16. “Our state still needs hundreds and hundreds of thousands of new homes to solve our housing crisis. The answer, my friends, is not blowing in the wind – it’s shovels in the ground.”

   She has repeated similar statements this budget process, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said on March 26 that the leaders were “on the same planet” when it came to negotiations and added that “there is an understanding” that tenant protections must be included as part of any housing deal, according to City & State. Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins echoed similar sentiments on March 27, referring to the budget process as being “in the middle of the middle,” according to PBS.

   “The housing deal, as we’ve always indicated, must be holistic and must include tenant protections,” said Stewart-Cousins to reporters. “I do believe, again: we are all on the same planet, we are all working towards trying to get that grand plan that will not only address affordability, but address the needs of supply as well as the needs of tenant protections.”

   Amid negotiations and the ironing out of details, several stakeholders have attempted to make their voices heard and protested several aspects of the budget process. This includes thousands of health care workers, per NY Daily News, teachers unions, according to NYSUT, and CUNY and SUNY students, as previously reported by The Vanguard.


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