We continue our conversation about the state budget with State Senators:

New York State has passed a budget. Legalized marijuana has garnered the most consistent headlines, but there are many other issues to discuss.

Our guests this hour are members of the New York State Assembly:

NY lawmakers, governor reach deal on late budget

Apr 6, 2021

New York will boost spending by billions over the next year in a bid to revitalize the state's hard-hit economy under a budget deal announced Tuesday by lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo has long prided himself on getting the budget passed on time and trying to keep spending increases minimal. Lawmakers passed a budget on time last spring amid the pandemic, when the Assembly and Senate didn't offer their own spending proposals.

We hear reaction to Governor Cuomo's 2021 state budget address from our guests:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office

New York has a problem. And it’s a big problem — a $30 billion problem.

That’s how much money the state Division of Budget says will be lost in tax revenue over the next two years because of the coronavirus.

You’ve probably already heard about the state’s budget deficit. For months, it’s been a frequent topic of discussion between Gov. Andrew Cuomo, his top aides, and the press. Weeks have rarely gone by without a mention of the shortfall.

Rochester City Council finance committee chairman Malik Evans said that financial trouble on the state level will make crafting the city’s budget more challenging.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that 20% of state aid to municipalities like Rochester may be cut due to shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Evans also said that shortfalls in the city’s tax collections will affect its budget.

We're joined by local lawmakers who discuss the New York State budget. The $177 billion budget deal was passed on April 3, with most lawmakers voting remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Our guests discuss a number of budget items, including bail reform, paid sick leave, and more.

Our guests:

*State Senators Rich Funke and Joe Robach and Assemblyman David Gantt were invited to join this conversation, but did not respond to multiple invitations.

Rochester City School Superintendent Terry Dade is warning about the possibility of more than 800 staff cuts if the district’s request for $35 million to close a budget gap for the current school year is not approved.

He made the dire prediction at a legislative hearing held Tuesday on the proposed New York state budget for the upcoming year.

Dade spoke at the hearing in Albany about the financial difficulties facing the city school district during a hearing on elementary and secondary education.

Democrats control New York State politics, and with a new budget, they’ve made some strong statements on taxes. In particular, the political left (ranging from DSA to the Green Party to various coalitions) have called for the state to raise taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers. Democrats declined to do so, saying it would have negative consequences.

Our guests discuss tax fairness, and how to fund priorities:

  • Michael Kink, executive director of the Strong Economy for All Coalition
  • Jeremy Cooney, former chief of staff for the City of Rochester, and recent Democratic candidate for New York State Senate
  • John Calia, executive coach and author of "The Reluctant CEO: Succeeding Without Losing Your Soul”

You may have heard Governor Cuomo’s State of the State on Tuesday. Representatives from our area were in Albany for the address and the passing of the GENDA bill.

We hear from Assemblymembers Harry Bronson, Mark Johns, and Marjorie Byrnes about that news and about their priorities for this legislative session. We also discuss upstate economic development, the ban on conversion therapy, and the governor’s plan to legalize marijuana. Our guests: