The legislature passed the 2022-23 budget totaling approximately $220 billion, an increase of $8 billion more than last year that was $12 B over the previous year, financed by $6 B from the feds and $6 B in increased taxes on New Yorkers, despite increased revenues more than sufficient to meet state spending. A new base line is thus established that will cost even more over the next 5 years.
Motor fuel taxes will be suspended from the date the governor signs the bill until the end of 2022. The tax “holiday” applies to the motor fuel tax (Art. 12a) and sales tax (Art.15) but not the Petroleum Business Tax, (PBT), [see Art. 13a]. The first two equal approx. 16 cents per gallon. Since the PBT is calculated each November based on the Wholesale Price Index (PBT), revenue will be greater due to much higher motor fuel prices.
The criminal ravages induced by bail reform have been partially offset, but still prevent judges from remand of first-time offenders who represent a danger. The responsibility for retreat from “cash bail” amid a crime wave was hung on Governor Hochul by the two reluctant leaders of the senate and assembly still searching for a solution to the disparate racial outcomes of the criminal justice system.
To make the spending a bit more palatable to the taxpayers for public financing of a new Buffalo Bills stadium and more spending generally, consumers may continue to take out drinks from restaurants, a dispensation from ABC laws during the Covid impact. And the prospect of 3 new casinos in NYC will provide more revenues, tourism and construction provided developers can acquire permits for buildings powered solely by electricity, and, if order can be reestablished to assure visitors that NYC is safe.
BUDGET ITEMS RELATED TO CLCPA
The budget makes a significant investment in the environment. The plan increases funding for the Environmental Bond Act of 2022 by $2 billion to be allocated for climate change related purposes, including:
- $500 million for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at state-owned buildings;
- $450 million for climate adaptation and mitigation projects, including for land acquisition and wetland protection;
- $300 million to combat air pollution in environmental justice communities.
- $250 million to combat water pollution in environmental justice communities.
- $200 million to combat the urban heat island effect;
- $150 million for open space conservation;
- $100 million for farmland protection easements; and
- $50 million for urban forest and habitat restoration projects.
The budget also allocates $400 million for the state Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), an increase of $100 million over last year’s funding.
The New York Supreme Court has invalidated the redistricting plan that does not meet the requirements of legislation enacted and Constitutional amendment approved by the people. The map drastically reduced congresssional and legisltive seats held by republicans.
“In any judicial proceeding relating to redistricting of congressional or state legislative, any law establishing congressional or state legislative districts found to violate the provisions of this article shall invalid in whole or in part. In the event that a court finds such violation the legislature shall have a full and reasonable opportunity to correct the law’s infirmities.”
The maps proferred by the legislature and processed through the Independent Redistricting Committee do not meet the criteria of law or constitutional imperatives that at such impasses anticipated by enactments my be resolved by redrawing the map boundries not to exceed a variance of 2 percent.