Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Agriculture Committee Chair William Magee and Assemblymember Deborah Glick today announced the 2017-2018 SFY Budget includes capital funding of $5 million for animal shelters and another $5 million in financial assistance for improving the infrastructure of local fairs.
"In communities throughout the state, there is a growing and daily demand for the very important services of animal shelters who operate on very limited budgets and can't afford to make desperately needed improvements to their facilities," said Heastie. "The Assembly's $5 million capital investment would establish, for the first time ever, a statewide funding source for animal shelters to help pay for the modernization or expansion of their facilities so they can more effectively continue on with their compassionate care of animals."
The Assembly budget would create the state's first $5 million capital fund to assist animal shelters, many of which are overcrowded, highly dependent on volunteers and operated by financially struggling not-for-profits. Throughout the state there are many shelters caring for diseased, abused and unowned animals in aging and poorly suited buildings.
"The Animal Capital Fund that the Assembly championed will provide funding for shelters operated by local governments and not for profits so they can upgrade their infrastructure and provide a better environment for the animals they care for," Magee said.
"The Assembly budget sends the message to animal shelter operators that the State of New York recognizes and appreciates their many decades of tireless dedication. It is also in the state's interest to provide capital funding support to help shelters, who provide excellent services that are critical to ensuring the welfare of animals and the public's health and safety. New Yorkers love animals and this responds to a growing need for larger no-kill facilities." said Assemblymember Deborah Glick, one of the animal shelter funding advocates.
For the second year in a row, the Assembly ensured the state budget maintained the Local Fair Capital Fund at $5 million. County fairs connect communities, boost local economies and help to showcase the area's farmers, small businesses, and related agriculture industries.
"Last year, our house successfully pushed for capital improvement money for local fairs to be included in the current fiscal year's enacted budget, and we again make this $5 million funding commitment to local fairs across the state so they can afford to improve and upgrade their facilities, which do yield both immediate and long-term economic benefits," said Magee.
"This funding will provide local fair organizers with access to the capital they need for infrastructure improvement projects such as modernizing buildings or upgrading facilities, all of which benefits the local economy and creates jobs," Heastie said.