Friend, it’s Alessandra.
Last week, I voted against two of the seven bills in Governor Kathy Hochul’s first budget. I’m reaching out because I want you to hear directly from me why I voted this way.
The truth is that the 2022-2023 budget offers kickbacks to corporations and billionaires while leaving working families in our state behind.
The budget simply does not allocate enough funding to fight the climate crisis, support CUNY and SUNY, pay home care workers a living wage, fund healthcare, and support affordable housing development in our state.
It denies undocumented New Yorkers the ability to access childcare and rolls back key criminal justice reform legislation, and provides a kickback of $600 million to the Buffalo Bills for their new stadium, a provision that I voted against.
Additionally, Gov. Hochul made a promise to clean up corruption in our state after the lack of transparency that marked the Cuomo administration. As Chair of the Senate Ethics committee, this was a promise I cared deeply about. Her budget this year allocated funding for a new ethics body to replace the Joint Committee on Public Ethics (JCOPE), the board in charge of setting standards for ethics in state government. But the newly proposed body doesn’t have the tools to solve the persistent integrity problems that plagued JCOPE.
There are aspects of this budget that are worthy of praise, which I was proud to vote in favor for. More New Yorkers than ever will now have access to childcare, and childcare providers will get the support they deserve from the state.
And the budget provides funding to pay for absentee ballot postage and allows poll sites to be opened on college campuses so that every eligible New Yorker can vote easily and quickly.
I’m looking forward to seeing how these policies positively impact New Yorkers’ lives, but I also recognize that Governor Hochul’s budget does not do nearly enough to uplift working New Yorkers.
I will continue to do all I can to fight for policies that improve the lives of New Yorkers of all ages, races, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds. That’s my promise to you.