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New York’s $237 Billion Budget: Housing Initiatives

New York’s $237 Billion Budget: Housing Initiatives

New York lawmakers recently approved a $237 billion state budget, which includes provisions to stimulate housing construction and address the proliferation of unlicensed marijuana stores. The budget also encompasses various initiatives such as expediting the closure of select state prisons, managing the recent surge in migrants, and extending the pandemic policy of permitting takeout cocktails.

Following hours of deliberation, the state Senate and Assembly passed several budget bills on Saturday, with the spending plan now awaiting Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature. A key focus of the budget negotiations was a comprehensive proposal aimed at revitalizing the state’s housing market, offering developers tax incentives to rent a portion of new apartment units below market price. Despite being hailed as a significant improvement in housing policy by Governor Hochul, some critics argue that the plan favors developers at the expense of tenants.

The budget also addresses the issue of unlicensed cannabis storefronts in New York City, streamlining the process for local law enforcement to shut down illicit marijuana stores. Additionally, the budget earmarks $2.4 billion to assist with the care and housing of an influx of international migrants in New York City’s homeless shelters. This allocation has drawn criticism from some, such as State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, who expressed concerns that it could incentivize more migrants to come to the state.

Other measures included in the budget are the expedited closure of up to five state prisons, paid time off during pregnancies, and the expansion of access to alcohol. Despite facing delays, including a cyberattack on the state office drafting bills, the budget represents a significant step forward in addressing key issues facing New York.

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