Progressives tout NYS budget gains

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York State Assembly is continuing its work to pass its final budget bills. The State Senate already wrapped up early this morning. The budget totals $212 billion.

Progressive advocates and lawmakers are touting their wins in the state budget this year that include $2.4 billion in rent relief, more than $29 billion in school aid, as well as personal income tax increases on millionaires, and increases to the corporate franchise tax rates that are expected to total more than $4 billion. 

“This would not have happened had we not taken the Senate Majority a couple years back, it would not have happened if we did not defeat the IDC a couple years back, it would not have happened if we didn’t get the supermajority this last election,” said Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris.

Governor Cuomo had expressed hesitancy to increasing taxes on the wealthy. “There will be no capital gains tax. There will be no estate tax. The feeling was that those taxes would do damage to the state,” the Governor said during a budget briefing today.

Another gain for progressives is the 2.1 billion in state dollars going to an excluded worker fund for undocumented immigrants. Some Democrats and Republicans opposed the measure. 

“Think about all we could do and all that we should do with this $2.1 billion being spent on the fund. Every year veterans’ advocates have to beg and plead for Dwyer program funding. So many local governments are not given the funding they so desperately need,” Senator Daphne Jordan said.

Despite the measures progressives did secure, they say their work continues. “We will continue to fight this session and we will continue to build a movement that’s going to get us to where we need to be next year,” said Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas.

Progressives say they will continue to push for anti-trust legislation, further tax increases on the wealthy, and more funding to fight homelessness. 

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