News & Blog

New York Capital brief:
March 29, 2024

Legislature Advances Extender, One Budget Bill

Today, the New York State Legislature passed a budget extender and emergency appropriations measure to ensure the State can continue operations through April 4th. Though legislators will not be paid until a final budget is enacted, today’s passage ensures state employees will have timely paychecks.

Due to the Easter holiday, the NYS Legislature was aiming to come to an agreement this week to avoid a late State Budget. Despite the looming April 1 budget deadline, lawmakers have conceded that negotiations will continue into next week.

Legislative leaders in both the Assembly and Senate have characterized negotiations as faring better than years’ prior. Despite this, Senate Leader Stewart-Cousins has noted that talks are firmly “in the middle,” while Speaker Heastie told reporters this week, “I think everybody’s under the understanding that you can’t always get everything you want.”

The NYS Legislature also passed the first of ten budget bills today. The Debt Service bill is typically the first of the budget portions to be passed by both houses as it deals with outstanding state debts. The timely passage of this legislation ensures that the State’s credit rating will remain unaffected.

Budget talks will continue after the holiday and into next week. Education aid, Cost-of-Living-Adjustment for human service providers, retail worker safety, tenant protections, and tax credits for real estate developers are all expected to remain contentious issues.

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New York Capitol Brief:
March 01, 2024

New York State Advances Congressional Redistricting

The process of redistricting New York State’s Congressional boundaries reached a conclusion this week, after years of court challenges and deliberations by multiple bodies. District lines that had initially been drafted by State legislators, challenged in court, redrawn by an appointed “Special Master”, challenged in court, redrawn by the bi-partisan Independent Redistricting Commission, rejected by the NYS Legislature, and redrawn by the NYS Legislature, were approved by both chambers this week.
The three-piece legislative package was swiftly delivered to Governor Hochul, who signed the bills into law effective immediately. Political observers have cautioned that the newest districts may again be challenged in court. Regardless, the petitioning period for the NYS con...

New York Capital Brief:
February 09, 2024

NYS Budget Update

On January 17, 2024 Governor Hochul released her Executive Budget Proposal. The Governor has statutory authority to release 21-day and 30-day amendments to her proposal. Though the window for 21-day amendments has passed, our team expects 30-day amendments to be released on or before February 15, 2024.

The NYS Legislature has continued the budget process by holding Joint Budget Subcommittees on each section of the Budget. Halfway through that process, the hearings have yielded testimony from government agencies and stakeholders. With the Governor’s call to keep spending flat, many of the testimonies given focused on maintaining funding, with very few agencies expecting an increase for programming this year.

Once testimony is gathered from all subcommittees, both Houses of the Legislature prepare their one-house budget proposals. We expect the one-house budget to be released sometime in early to mid-March.

NYS Legislative Retirements, Departures Announced

As the Legislative Session continues, this year’s election cycle is heating up. Candidates that would typically wait until closer to the petitioning period have been choosing to relay their intentions to run for office well in advance. This year’s petitioning period is from February 27th – April 4th.

Already this year, the NYS Legislature has seen the immediate departure of legislators such as AM Joyner, the announced impending retirements of several legislators including Sen. Breslin and AM Aubry, Cook and Dickens, and the transitioning of legislators to both the private sector and to seek other elected positions. AM Zebrowski recently announced he is stepping away from public office, while Senator Kennedy has announced his intentions to run for Congress.

Beyond the special elections needed to fill vacancies, early voting starts on June 15th. New York State’s primary election is slated for June 25, 2024.




New York Capitol Brief:
October 13, 2023

NY’s Predicted Budget Deficit

New York’s fiscal landscape is facing a significant challenge, with the State Division of Budget forecasting a budget deficit of  $9.1 billion for the upcoming year with increased holes in subsequent years.

Comptroller DiNapoli’s recent report highlights the fiscal predicament, noting that revenues are expected to decline year-over-year in the current fiscal year. At the same time, expenditures are projected to grow at a faster rate. The report underscores the ongoing economic impact of COVID-19, including the struggle to recover all jobs lost during the pandemic.Budget Director Blake Washington has instructed State agencies to submit flat 2024 spending plans with no increases. Governor Hochul has said she is determined to avoid tapping into the reserve funds or raising taxes to bridge the deficit. The Legislature is likely to offer a variety of counter-proposals in an attempt to preserve programs and services. Already, the fiscally conservative Empire Center is advocating for spending cuts, particularly to Medicaid and education aid, while the more liberal Fiscal Policy Institute is calling for the use of reserves and targeted tax increases.

The budget-making process will formally kick off in mid-January with the Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal, followed by Budget hearings, legislative responses, and a final enacted budget due by ...

New York Capital Brief:
April 28, 2023

Conceptual Budget Agreement Reached

After surpassing the statutory deadline by 28 days and counting, Governor Hochul confirmed in a surprise Thursday evening press conference that “a conceptual [budget] agreement has been reached.” State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie were not pr...

New York Capitol Brief:
April 21, 2023

Budget Deadline to Be Extended Yet Again

After missing the April 1st statutory budget deadline and passing three initial budget extender bills. Legislators met Thursday, April 20 to approve a fourth extender, which is set to expire at Noon Mond...

New York Capital Brief:
April 07, 2023

Budget Deadline to Be Extended Again

After missing the April 1st statutory budget deadline and passing a temporary budget extender bill this past Monday, the Legislature is preparing to pass another one-week extender bill on Monday, April 10.

Chief Judge Selection Process

Last week, Governor Hochul introduced legislation that would modify the judicial nominating process and prevent the Court of Appeals from operating with only six of its seven members for extended periods.

If the legislation is approved, it will allow the Governor to nominate a Court of Appeals Associate Judge to become Chief Judge. If the Senate confirms that nominee, the Governor could pick from the remaining finalists to fill the vacancy created by the selection of the new Chief Judge. The bill’s introduction could indicate that she is considering nominating one of the Court of Appeals’ sitting justices to be the next Chief Judge of the State’s highest court.

The bill’s introduction coincides with the Governor’s review of a new list of finalists for Chief Judge that the Commission on Judicial Nomination issued last week. The list includes three Associate Judges serving on the Court of Appeals. The New York State Bar Association, list all of the potential candidates for the post as either “well...

New York Capital Brief:
March 31, 2023

New York’s State Budget is Expected to be Late

New York’s State Budget is due April 1st, but State lawmakers acknowledged Thursday that it...

New York Capital Brief:
March 24, 2023

Budget Negotiations Gear Up

The General Budget Conference Committee, known colloquially as “The Mothership,” held its first meeting this Monday, officially kicking off budget negotiations for the fiscal year...

New York Capital Brief:
March 03, 2023

Encore for Former Budget Director

On Tuesday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the appointment of Robert Megna as New York State Budget ...