Gov. Hochul announces gas tax suspension, to-go alcohol in budget deal
Lawmakers in Albany reached a "conceptual agreement" on a budget for the next fiscal year, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday.
Hochul said the state plans to suspend its gas tax from June 1 through the rest of the year. For months, drivers have been asking for relief when filling up their cars.
The partial cut could save drivers about 16 cents a gallon starting this summer.
It's believed changes to bail reform will also be part of the bill. If approved, judges could set bail for a greater number of offenses and make it easier to hold repeat offenders in jail before trial.
Also included in the budget, is $7 billion that will be invested into child care. There's also $1.2 billion for front-line workers, nearly $7.5 billion for home health care wage increases, $400 million for SUNY and CUNY schools, and $800 million for the state's emergency rental assistance program.
Practiced during the pandemic, alcohol-to-go will become permanent, and pre-K programs is expected to get a big boost in funding.
The state budget was due almost a week ago on April 1, but several issues, including crime and subsidies for the Buffalo Bills' new football stadium, held up negotiations.
Legislators had to pass an "extender" earlier this week to ensure employees got paid.
The final budget price tag is expected to sit at $220 billion, around $4 billion more than Hochul's original proposal.