Hochul’s $216B budget proposal includes millions for schools, small businesses

Gov. Kathy Hochul presented a state budget plan on Tuesday that she says will provide real time aid to New Yorkers and set the Empire State on a path to flourish in the future.
The governor's $216 billion budget proposal includes a record $31 billion in school aid, along with an acceleration of tax cuts for the middle class, property tax rebates for more than 2 million homeowners, and $250 million in tax credits to small businesses.
The proposal includes $1 billion to pave potholes, measures to invest in health care workers, and combat opioid abuse.
The proposal is buoyed by an influx of federal COVID-19 relief funds.
The Long Island Association praised Hochul’s plan:
“The priority areas of small businesses, health care, child care, infrastructure, and workforce development will support our continued recovery from the pandemic and make our region more competitive for the future," LIA president and CEO Matthew Cohen said in a statement.
Critics, however, are hammering away at the size and scope of the budget proposal. Gerard Kassar, chairman of New York's Conservative Party, released a statement that said in part:
"The Hochul budget is almost half the size of Russia's --- Russia's! Meanwhile the moving trucks keep arriving. Boy, do we need a change of direction in Albany."
For her part, Hochul says the proposal represents a roadmap for the state's path out of the pandemic.
“We'll make smart investments that make sure we not only recover from this pandemic, but emerge from it stronger than ever before,” she said.