“While the 2023-24 state budget took longer to pass than in recent years, the final spending plan will help our community thrive. I fought long and hard to pass a budget that tackles the issues weighing most heavily on the minds of my constituents and delivers vital resources to hardworking Long Island families.
“As chair of the Assembly’s Veteran’s Affairs Committee, I’m committed to funding strong and effective programs to support the brave men and women who sacrificed to serve our country. Our enacted budget provides $1.1 million to go toward getting homeless veterans back on their feet and into safe living situations, as well as the upkeep of veterans’ cemeteries and memorials. The spending plan also delivers millions of dollars for veterans’ programs statewide, including Justice for Heroes, the Long Island expansion of the New York State Defenders Association’s Veterans Defense Program, Helmets to Hardhats and SageUSA.
“To build a solid foundation from which the next generations of New Yorkers will grow and thrive, we must ensure our children’s schools are properly funded. Under the enacted budget, school aid totals $34 billion, an increase of $3 billion over last year’s budget. The spending plan also provides $24 billion to fully fund Foundation Aid for the first time since the program’s inception, including a combined $600,000 for the Amityville, Copiague and Lindenhurst school districts, $150 million in new funding for Universal Prekindergarten programs, and $280 million in funding to make school meals free for all students in New York State.
“As a proud mother to two wonderful children, I know how essential access to high-quality child care is to New York’s working families. To expand parents’ options for ensuring that their children are safe and cared for, the state budget provides $500 million for Child Care Workforce Recruitment and Retention Grants, $2,000 bonuses for current center- and family-based child care workers and $1,500 bonuses for school-aged child care programs, and $800 to $4,000 in additional payments to support additional recruitment for child care programs.
“Our budget also provides funding to increase families’ access to Facilitated Enrollment programs, expanding eligibility to families earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level, who would otherwise be ineligible for the state’s child care programs. In addition, this funding would allow these programs to continue assisting families earning up to 85% of the State Median Income with enrollment.
“As we continue this year’s legislative session, I will keep fighting for Long Islanders and voicing our concerns in Albany.”