By Brooke Harris, Allegany County Legislator from District 5, County Vice-Chairman, and Chair of the Budget Committee
On January 18, 2022, Governor Hochul released her 2023 Executive Budget Proposal. It’s $216 billion price-tag is an increase of $4 billion from 2022’s enacted budget.
This is the first step in the state budget process. In a few weeks, the Senate and Assembly will release their own budget proposals. After that, negotiations between the two houses and the Governor will commence, and a final budget is due to be enacted by April 1. The time between now and then is when it’s most important for County residents and local elected officials to plead their case for changes in the proposed budgets.
From Allegany County’s perspective, here are a few of the good, the bad, and the ugly highlights from Hochul’s budget. Her proposal:
- Ends the diversion of county sales tax to pay for the State’s AIM program. Last year, the State diverted $542,729 from local sales tax to supplement aid to our municipalities. The State will reassume their responsibility. (GOOD)
- Continues to divert local sales tax to pay for the State’s Distressed Hospital Fund. That diversion cost the County $199,946 last year. (UGLY)
- Amends state law to eliminate per-mile fees on fiberoptic cable within State right-of-ways. (GOOD)
- Continues the Medicaid growth cap for counties. This limits the damage done to counties, but we continue to fund the State and Federal governments responsibilities to the tune of over $8,000,000 per year. (GOOD)
- Increases the provider rate for pre-K special education. That’s great for providers and patients in a starved market. It’s terrible for counties, which are responsible for a significant portion of that expense. (BAD)
- Continues to fully fund the Hurrell-Harring settlement implementation. This money is vital in funding the operations of the Public Defender’s Office. (GOOD)
- Increases State funding to county veterans service agencies from $10,000 to $25,000. (GOOD)
It should be noted that while the Governor’s proposals shift many county costs back to the State, her budget significantly increases both the size and scope of state government operations. The Allegany County Legislature will work hard in the coming months to advocate for our taxpayers to reduce the financial burdens placed upon them by the State Budget. County residents can help by contacting their State representatives directly between now and April 1.
Senator George Borrello: https://www.nysenate.gov/senators/george-m-borrello/contact
Assemblyman Joseph Giglio: https://nyassembly.gov/mem/Joseph-M-Giglio/contact/
New York State Association of County’s Interim SFY 23 Executive Budget Fiscal Impact Report: https://www.nysac.org/files/2023%20Executive%20Budget%20Impact%20Report.pdf