Hochul to unveil $233B budget, including additional $1.9B for NYC’s migrant crisis

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webnexttech | Hochul to unveil $233B budget, including additional $1.9B for NYC's migrant crisis
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Gov.Kathy Hochul will unveil a massive $233 billion budget proposal Tuesday, including additional funding to help bail out New York City as it grapples with the financial cost of caring for waves of migrants, The Post has learned.
Hochul is proposing allocating at least $1.9 billion over two years for the Big Apple to handle the migrant crisis — on top of the approximately $2 billion the state committed to last year.
The new infusion of cash would be a much-needed lifeline for Mayor Eric Adams, who has implemented wide-ranging mid-year cuts to buoy the city’s finances.
“The city is the home of untold new arrivals each and every day and the governor is not going to leave the city hanging,” Hochul’s budget chief Blake Washington said, speaking exclusively with The Post Monday.
“We’re sort of meeting the problem where it is, not what we’d like it to be.” Of the approximately $1.9 billion commitment: $1 billion would be made available to reimburse the city for migrant-related expenses; $500 million would cover state-funded services like national guard presence and healthcare; and $400 million would go towards congregate shelters, such as the Floyd Bennett Field tent city.
Washington said $500 million in unexpected tax revenue from this year will be earmarked to be drawn from as part of the $1.9 billion of migrant spending, instead of going into the state’s rainy-day fund.
The proposal for additional migrant spending comes only months after Washington, in a memo first reported by POLITICO, described continued funding for the crisis as “unsustainable.” Since issuing that memo, Washington said new revenue projections have painted a rosier financial picture for the state — but his deputy warned it might not last as waves of asylum-seekers continue arriving to the city.
“The state’s ability to commit to this level of assistance to the city every year, creates really hard challenges for us in closing budget gaps and deciding between funding Medicaid and schooling appropriately.
So, it’s not sustainable over a longer term,” Deputy Budget Director Mark Massaroni said.
Albany already manages its spending sprees by pushing expenses to future fiscal cycles.
Hochul enters this year’s budget facing a $4.3 billion budget gap for the next fiscal year, which was revised down from $5.7 billion as the state saw increased tax revenues coming in last year.
Washington said the executive budget covers that gap with increased revenue projections.
Still, Washington said the state is leaving approximately $20 billion in out-year gaps to deal with down the road – $5 billion each in fiscal years 2026 and 2027 and $9.9 billion in 2028.
Lefty lawmakers and progressive activist organizations have called on Hochul to fund already-ballooning expenditures by taxing wealthy New Yorkers.
But the centrist Democrat is sticking by her promise not to raise income taxes this year, and does not propose tapping into the state’s nearly $20 billion rainy day fund.
Medicaid spending, by far one of the costliest expenses for the state, is expected to grow 10.9% over the 2025 fiscal year.
Washington attributed part of the rising cost of the program to the state’s population of aging baby boomers.
He also noted that more people remain on the state’s essential plan as a federal COVID-era mandate preventing enrollees from being booted off the program unwinds.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli reported earlier this month that a slower than expected decrease in Medicaid enrollees could blow a $1.5 billion hole in the current fiscal year’s budget.
“We’re owning it, we’re saying that we have cost pressures that we need to address long term,” Washington said about the state’s lofty Medicaid spending.
He said the governor is focused, through initiatives like her establishment of the State Commission on the Future of Health Care, on finding ways to lower the state’s spending on Medicaid.
“We’re hoping to have a robust discussion and dialogue around what the next steps are, because clearly we can’t grow 11% year over year into the foreseeable future.” Hochul’s entire state operating funds proposal, the primary discretionary spending portion of the budget, increased from $125 billion in her 2024 fiscal year proposal to $129 billion for 2025.
Following Hochul’s proposal Tuesday, both houses of the legislature will hold hearings on the plan before drafting their own budgets.
A final spending package is due March 30.

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