Hochul’s Budget is a Betrayal of Everyday New Yorkers

As New Yorkers’ Bills Come Due, Hochul Only Cares About Buffalo Billionaire’s Bills

Albany, NY – In response to Governor Hochul’s announcement on the FY23 budget deal, Stanley Fritz, Political and Campaigns Director of Citizen Action of New York issued the following statement:

“The budget is a moral document, because it is the clearest statement of what our values and priorities truly are. With Kathy Hochul’s state budget she has made it clear that her values and priorities are tied to her big money donors, not the everyday people living and working in New York.  

“Since taking office, Gov. Hochul has boasted of New York’s “historic surplus”–this is a time when we should be investing in the resources that strengthen our communities like housing, health care, and child care. Instead, Hochul blocked and cut the very programs that our communities desperately need. When we see the governor squander this historic opportunity to invest in New Yorkers’ well-being in favor of subsidizing an NFL billionaire and catering to the whims of the corporate donors who fill her campaign coffers, it’s hard to interpret this as anything other than pay-to-play politics. We deserve so much more.

“It has been sickening to watch the governor kowtow to right-wing fear mongering and prioritize an effort to throw thousands more New Yorkers in jail instead of addressing the factors that are actually causing a rise in harm and violence. It has been shocking to see her cruelly exclude undocumented people from desperately needed child care and health care expansions. It has been demoralizing to watch her cut supportive housing programs for people living with AIDS and people transitioning out of prison. These acts are a fundamental betrayal of our values, of the inherent dignity of every New Yorker, of the belief in a place where we can all thrive–no exceptions.

“Given Hochul’s casual willingness to betray the people of New York, including her most vulnerable constituents, the budget would be a lot worse if it weren’t for our strong, united coalition of progressive activists and advocates. Senate and Assembly allies fought tooth and nail against the Governor’s budget, because of the consistent pressure we kept on them to defend our values. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie went to bat for everyday New Yorkers. Unfortunately, because of the power of the executive in the budget-making process, they were unable to hold the line on so many critical programs.

“While the governor has outsized power in the budget process, after the budget, power shifts back to the legislature and we will continue to push Leader Stewart Cousins and Speaker Heastie to deliver for us. Recent history has shown us that when we work together, we can achieve great victories for New Yorkers in this important window of time. In 2019’s post-budget period, we won the Tenant Protection Act, the most progressive legislation preventing evictions. That year, we also achieved the landmark climate package, CLCPA. Now we must continue fighting for safe, stable housing; economic stability, and justice reform. The Hochul budget is a deep betrayal but we will not yield. Everyday New Yorker will continue to rise up to demand a New York where everyone can thrive.”