New State budget Bites NYC: Schools and Foreigners Will Have to Pay More

Lawmakers completed this year’s state budget over the weekend, three weeks later than expected.

New York is currently experiencing a high number of people leaving the state, as well as an increase in the number of migrants coming in. There are concerns about high taxes, crime rates, and the overall quality of life. Unfortunately, this budget, which is being presented as a success, only exacerbates these issues instead of solving them.

The budget has increased to $237 billion, which is a 35% increase from the state’s budget of $175 billion in 2019 before COVID. This budget makes the temporary surcharge on high-income earners a permanent part of the system.

Just to remind you, the surcharge was introduced in the middle of the crisis in 2021 to help cover the huge state deficit caused by the pandemic.

Now, after completely recovering from the crisis, instead of looking for ways to reduce taxes and control spending, Albany has continued to increase the state’s spending like sailors on shore leave spending recklessly.

It seems like every donor and interest group is benefiting, but Governor Hochul and the Legislature, who are mostly New York City Democrats, have managed to harm Gotham, which is the state’s main source of money.

Shifting the burden

Even though the city is part of a state that claims to be a sanctuary, Hochul and the Legislature failed to take responsibility for New York’s migrant crisis.

Also Read: Florida City Has the Most Stressful Residents as Compared to Others

New York City residents and taxpayers are the ones who have to take care of more than 180,000 migrants who arrived since August 2022. They have to provide housing and food for all of them.

Mayor Adams went to Albany to ask for $6 billion to split the cost of the project, which is projected to cost $12 billion. The city of Albany received a donation of $2.4 billion. Adams strangely said he won, while Hochul claimed responsibility for achieving results for New York City. Meanwhile, Hochul and lawmakers in Albany are making gradual changes to the way pensions are calculated in order to save costs.

The new law changes how a Tier 6 employee’s pension is calculated. Instead of using the top five years of earnings, it will now be based on the top three years. This change was made during the last budget crisis and is expected to save a lot of money in the long run.

The Citizens Budget Commission states that Hochul’s rollback increases the state’s pension liabilities by about $4 billion, with nearly $400 million in the next year alone. New York City is responsible for about half of the cost, but they don’t have any extra money to cover it. This refers to a concerning trend that began when Hochul discreetly included her first pension reduction in last year’s budget.

Not having control

In 2021, the state made it legal to sell cannabis through licensed distributors. Because of mistakes in how the state managed and enforced regulations, legal shops took a long time to open. Meanwhile, almost 2,000 illegal storefronts appeared, seemingly on every corner.

For two years, the city and state failed to effectively close these illegal stores, with each one blaming the other.

The governor and mayor have announced that New York City sheriffs can now start legal actions against these shops that don’t have licenses and impose fines. I don’t understand. The legal process will take a while, which means these operators can open new stores while they wait.

The NYPD has 36,000 officers, while there are only 150 sheriffs who have been given this authority by the Legislature. It is illegal to sell marijuana without a license. This can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on how much marijuana is involved.

Why can’t the NYPD be given the power to enforce the law and punish those who break it? Are we still enforcing any laws?

Another setback for the city’s ability to govern itself occurred when Adams proposed having four years of mayoral control over city schools. Hochul initially supported this idea, but ultimately had to give in to the Legislature’s decision. Even though there was a lot of praise, the governor only gave Adams a two-year term. However, the true loss does not occur there.

There were two important conditions that came with the two years. There is a requirement about the number of students in each class, but it only applies to New York City. The city will need to spend an extra $1.9 billion on teachers and space.

The second issue weakens the idea of “mayoral control” because it allows state legislative leaders and the Board of Regents (which is influenced by the teachers union) to choose the chair of the Panel for Educational Policy. This panel is responsible for approving policy and contract decisions.

These changes go against the progressive reform of mayoral control that Mike Bloomberg initially accomplished. This is a big step backwards for holding people accountable, and it once again means that the city’s education system is controlled by politicians.

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