State lawmakers OK $177 billion budget

The Senate approved the final budget bills Thursday, and the Assembly voted this morning around 3 a.m.

News 12 Staff

Apr 3, 2020, 5:49 PM

Updated 1,517 days ago

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Sitting far apart, in the middle of the night, the state Legislature approved Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $177 billion budget for 2021.
The Senate approved the final budget bills Thursday, and the Assembly voted this morning around 3 a.m.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement, “The budget is balanced, includes no new taxes, continues to phase in tax cuts for the middle class, enacts the strongest Paid Sick Leave program in the nation, and advances other progressive priorities including the legalization of gestational surrogacy.”
He added how difficult it is to do a budget when it is unknown how much the coronavirus will affect the economy. "It would have been very easy to say, 'Oh, this is an extraordinary year; let's just do the bare minimum and go home.' We did the opposite. We said there is a lot of need, and there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed, and we stepped up to the plate and we got it done.”
Democratic Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said the budget "is not the budget that any of us hoped to pass at the beginning of the session.”
The budget also enacts the "Josef Neumann Hate Crimes Domestic Terrorism Act" — named in memory of the Monsey stabbing victim who passed away this past Monday — defining hate-fueled murder with the intent to cause mass casualties as an act of domestic terrorism with penalties equivalent to other acts of terrorism.
 
Other highlights of the budget include:
  • Prohibits individuals who commit serious offenses in other states from obtaining NY gun license
  • Bans flavored e-cigarettes and caps insulin co-pays at $100 per month
  • Outlaws "pink tax" that allowed gender-based pricing discrimination
  • Permanently bans hydrofracking and the distribution and use of styrofoam


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