HomePoliticsHochul releases budget statements as lawmakers continue to hammer out details

Hochul releases budget statements as lawmakers continue to hammer out details

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday announced the framework of a $237 billion budget that includes broad plans to boost new housing construction, address the influx of migrants and crack down on illegal marijuana shops.

Hochul, a Democrat, described the announcement as the “parameters of a conceptual agreement” on the budget, which is about two weeks overdue and reached after a series of backroom negotiations with Senate and House leaders.

“You can’t get to the Legislature for consideration unless we reach an agreement on the package,” Hochul told reporters at the Capitol, adding: “It will take some time to get to the final resolution, but I have explained what I feel like there is agreement.”

Still, the governor’s announcement appeared to have caught lawmakers off guard, as officials were still holding meetings and hammering out the details of the spending plan.

“I think it was a surprise to all of us in the Senate,” said Sen. Liz Krueger, a senior Democrat.

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The Senate and Assembly, both controlled by Democrats, would have to approve the budget before it could become law.

The housing deal outlined by Hochul would include a new tax break for developers to encourage construction and a range of tenant protections to make it harder to raise rents and evict people in certain cases, although the details were not detailed. It also includes plans to use commercial real estate and state lands for residential development.

The sweeping housing deal had become a sticking point in negotiations, with top officials trying to strike a deal that would lead to more new affordable housing while protecting tenants and enticing developers to build.

The spending plan would also set aside $2.4 billion for the state to address scores of migrants who have overwhelmed New York City’s homeless shelters, following a proposal from Hochul to provide short-term shelter services, legal assistance and more .

And Hochul said there was agreement on a new strategy to combat unlicensed marijuana shops, which have become ubiquitous in the city following the state’s legalization of recreational pot sales, through a proposal to make it easier for local authorities to close the shops on the black market.

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