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Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Migrant Costs Help Push New York State’s Budget to $233 Billion

New York ↗|Migrant Costs Help Push New York State’s Budget to $233 Billion




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Gov. Kathy Hochul’s new spending plan, unveiled on Tuesday, also called for investments in mental health care and for an important change to the way that cannabis is taxed.

Gov. Kathy Hochul floated two changes to education policy, including one that would double the length of Mayor Eric Adams’s control of New York City schools to four years.Credit…Cindy Schultz for The New York Times

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday unveiled a $233 billion budget for New York State that includes $2.4 billion to help New York City manage its migrant crisis — a $500 million increase reflecting the mounting costs as immigrants continue to arrive.

The budget proposal sought to thread the needle between the necessity to exert financial discipline as projected multibillion-dollar deficits loom, and the pressing needs posed by the migrant situation as well as substantial increases in Medicaid costs.

The presentation built on the State of the State address ↗ that Ms. Hochul gave last week, in which she outlined a broad vision for bolstering mental health care and public safety across the state, but spoke only briefly about the migrant crisis.

The issue took center stage on Tuesday, with the governor offering a package that will help cover the costs of sheltering migrants and asylum seekers, as well as provide funds for case management, National Guard staffing, medical and legal bills, and employment-related services.

Under Ms. Hochul’s proposal, New York State will take over funding for roughly 3,000 beds, fully covering the cost of existing shelters at Creedmoor, the state psychiatric hospital in Queens, and at Randall’s Island. This will come on top of the state’s pledge to fund a 2,000-bed shelter at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.

New York’s commitment, which comes as the state faces likely reductions in other areas, speaks to the political urgency of the crisis for Democrats, who will be forced to defend their party’s handling of immigration in a presidential election year.

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James Mackreides
James Mackreides
'Mac' is a short tempered former helicopter pilot , now a writer based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Loves dogs, the outdoors and staying far away from the ocean.

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