The Bronxville Tribune Edition
BRONXVILLE, NY — April 26, 2022 —As I customarily do it this time of year, the following is a synopsis of the new 2022-23 New York State budget recently passed in Albany. The approved budget is $220 billion up $47 billion or 27% from 2021 fiscal year budget.
As you can imagine, there are hundreds of spending appropriations, agreements and policy implications in a budget that is larger than many small countries.
The following is just a highlight of items that, when you drill down, could or will affect a village taxpayer.
Overall there are no new tax increases
- 1.2 billion is allocated to frontline healthcare worker bonuses with a maximum of $2000 for those making less than $125,000.
- Included is $7.4 billion to support the wage increases for home care workers, which translates into approximately a raise of three dollars per hour. Advocates say this is not nearly enough to address the shortage in home care workers.
- A $25 billion 5-year plan was enacted to create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes.
- The emergency rental assistance program, originally funded with $800 million, was replenished to provide another $125 million.
- $100 million was placed in a program that would cover health insurance for undocumented seniors over 65 and undocumented new mothers.
- An additional $500 million was added to the water and sewer infrastructure fund, which would address the quality of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
- New York State gas tax of 16% per gallon will be suspended from June 1 to December 31.
- State and local government workers hired under new Tier 5 and Tier 6 regulations were formerly required to work 10 years to be vested in the state pension plan. This has been rolled back to five years for vesting.
- A total of $375 million will be spent over the next three years on expanding pre-K programs.
- An additional $100 million allocated for mental health grants for school districts in BOCES.
- Star benefits will increase statewide giving property tax relief to certain categories of taxpayers.
- Items that did not make it into the budget were tax breaks for developers to build multi-unit housing projects in New York City if they included affordable housing.
- The $2.1 billion fund providing unemployment like benefits to undocumented workers and others who cannot get traditional unemployment ran out and it was not re-funded.
- The New York City Mayor’s office, which had control over the New York City public schools since 2000, did not have such authority extended for a requested four more years.
- Buffalo Bills football team owners will receive a total of $650 million in state funding to build their new $1.4 billion stadium. The money comes with a promise to keep the franchise in Buffalo for 30 years.
- Citing accessibility as reason, the new budget requires a polling place at every New York college campus that has 300 or more registered voting students. The same is not required at assisted-living or nursing homes with 300 or more registered residents.
- Boards of Election are now required to provide prepaid postage for absentee ballots.
- Effective immediately, restaurants, bars and taverns and other establishments holding an on premise liquor license can now sell cocktails and wine to go if they are accompanied by a purchase of a “substantial food item.” The provision has a sunset of three years.
Policy changes were made as part of this budget relating to the 2019 bail reform legislation. As history, under the 2019 law, judges were no longer able to set bail for a wide-ranging list of misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies including burglary, stalking, assault without serious injuries, many drug offenses and certain arson and robbery. All those charged with these crimes were released to await trial.
In New York State, bail is imposed solely to ensure that people return to court. Judges are not supposed to set bail for defendants who they think might be a public safety risk. New York stands alone as the only state without a so-called dangerousness standard.
The changes enacted now allow judges more discretion but they still must choose the least restrictive means to ensure a defendant returns to court and cannot explicitly assess the defendant’s dangerousness.
However, they can now weigh specific factors in setting bail, including whether a defendant is accused of causing serious harm to someone and whether the defendant has a history of using or possessing a gun.
The new law also expands the number of crimes for which defendants can be required to post bail including stricter rules for people accused of repeated offensives that harmed people or property, gun possession on school grounds, repeat property theft, altered weapons, gun sales to minors and all hate crimes.
No new monies were funneled to local governments for the thirteenth year in a row.
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SOURCE: Mary Ann Magliato | Secretary to Mayor & Village Administrator | Bronxville Village Hall |200 Pondfield Road, Bronxville, NY 10708 | Tel: (914) 337-6500, 109 | Fax:(914) 337-2683 | www.villageofbronxville.com