Albany Approves $237 Billion State Budget

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul and state legislators came to a final agreement on a $237 billion fiscal year 2025 budget over the weekend, earmarking money for asylum seekers, housing construction and to help close down illegal cannabis stores.

“We are delivering a common-sense agenda that makes New York safer and more affordable,” Governor Hochul said through a statement today. “I promised to fight for New Yorkers and tackle the thorny issues, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

The budget, about three weeks late, includes a new tax incentive for real estate developers that replaces the 421a, a tax break for companies that built housing that includes affordable apartment units. The budget includes incentives to convert office space into housing, and for developers to building more housing outside the city.

Although it is not as comprehensive as tenant advocates hoped it would be, the budget also included measures to protect some tenants against unreasonable rent increases and evictions, The City reported.

“This budget agreement represents the most significant improvement in housing policy in three generations,” the governor said in a statement over the weekend.

Hochul also emphasized new initiatives to crack down on illegal cannabis shops, where she authorized the Office of Cannabis Management to padlock any retail stores that sell illegal cannabis. In addition, the landlord can be fined $50,000.

The state will also spend $2.4 billion to care for an influx of asylum seekers who have significantly boosted the population at city-run homeless shelters. The money will pay for housing, legal services and health care.

The fiscal 2025 budget also includes legislation to protect low-income New Yorkers from medical debt lawsuits by banning hospitals from suing patients earning less than 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, or $120,000 for a family of four.

The governor also extended mayoral control of city schools for another two years, and approved City University of New York and State University of New York schools to receive $36 billion for school aid.

A breakdown of the budget and summary of new legislative goals can be found here.

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