Gov. Hochul announces conceptual budget agreement

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ALBANY, N.Y. — Governor Kathy Hochul announced a conceptual agreement on the New York State budget on Thursday night.

The governor says the state’s budget for 2023 will be $229 billion. The agreement between the governor and the legislature will expand the state’s child tax credit to children 4 and under. The current credit is only eligible for children over 5.

The budget will also move forward with the governor’s plan to make all new homes in the state emissions-free starting in the year 2025.

The governor says the legislature compromised on reforming the 2019 law that ended cash bail for most people charged with misdemeanors or non-violent felonies. The agreement will remove a policy that requires judges to use only the “least restrictive means” to ensure that defendants return to court. Removing the policy would allow judges more discretion to keep people accused of crimes in jail.

“You can only consider the least restrictive means to ensure the defendants return to court,” Hochul said. “Judges have leaned on that and there are horrific cases splashed on the front pages of newspapers where they talk about individuals, where the judge following the least restrictive means. You have to let this person out and some of the cases shocked the conscious. You can believe someone was let out. My hands are tied I have to follow the least restrictive means.”

The conceptual agreement comes a month after the April 1 deadline and after lawmakers issued multiple extensions to keep state employees paid. The governor says affordable housing reforms will not be included in the budget, but she says it remains a priority going forward.

The state budget proposes $112,000 to renovate the Boys & Girls Club in Rochester and a $10 million expansion of the Susan B. Anthony Museum including a pressurized room to preserve historic documents.

The budget includes $34.5 billion dollars for schools and $400 million to help New Yorkers with utility bills. It also includes $40 million for public defenders, including the first pay increase in two decades to attorneys assigned to represent people unable to afford their own legal counsel.

Watch the full announcement here:

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Here is the governor’s statement: