State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) joined his colleagues in the Senate Majority to vote on the 10 bills of the 2022-2023 Budget. Senator Rivera voted against one of the budget bills, Education, Labor, and Family Assistance (ELFA), also known as this year’s Big Ugly. Senator Rivera voted in favor of all other bills, including Aid to Localities, Revenue, Capital Projects, State Operations, Legislature and Judiciary, the Transportation, Economic Development and Environmental Conservation bill (TEDE), Public Protection and General Government (PPGG), and Health and Mental Hygiene (HMH).
“Back in January, I levied high praise for Governor Hochul’s robust budget proposal, but this sentiment quickly faded away. The Governor’s decision to force a reckless 10-point incarceration plan and a multi-million dollar giveaway to the Buffalo Bills’ billionaire owner into the negotiations at the 11th hour destroyed the promise of delivering a truly just and expansive budget for all the people of New York.
It is incredibly disappointing that Governor Hochul caved at the last minute and decided to make unnecessary and dangerous rollbacks to our 2019 criminal justice laws, letting fear mongering guide her decision instead of facts and data. New Yorkers’ safety concerns are legitimate, but to find solutions that truly protect New Yorkers, we cannot scapegoat our bail laws to appease the loudest voices or score political points.
That being said, we were able to deliver significant victories for New Yorkers thanks to the steadfast leadership of Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who fought tirelessly to hold the line and invest in the resources New Yorkers truly need.”
“This year’s health budget begins to reinvest in our healthcare system after years of austerity and disinvestment. We were able to expand access to coverage for both our new mothers for a full year after birth and our senior undocumented immigrant New Yorkers. We are also providing some much needed relief and funding to safety net and distressed hospitals, who provide care to the most vulnerable New Yorkers and bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also strived to address our workforce shortages by recognizing the efforts of our healthcare workforce through bonuses and raises or investments in developing new talent.
While we certainly took steps forward with this budget, we are far from ensuring that all New Yorkers have equitable access to quality and affordable health coverage. We still have work to do to transform our healthcare delivery system for all New Yorkers, including fully repealing the bogus Medicaid Global Cap. The work continues.”
- Extends Medicaid coverage eligibility to new mothers for a full year after giving birth, including undocumented immigrants, providing care beyond the fourth trimester.
- $1.15 billion in funding for safety net and distressed hospitals and $1.6 billion for health transformation capital grants, including set asides for community based organization.
- Ensures that $208 million will be allocated through recommendations of the Opioid Settlement Advisory Board, creating oversight by experts that I fought for when we passed my bill establishing the Opioid Settlement Fund.
- 5.4% increase of COLA for human service workers.
- Increases home care workers' wages by $3 an hour over the next two years
- Expands Medicaid to undocumented seniors 65 years old and older.
- Changes how the Medicaid global cap is calculated and adds a necessary layer of transparency.
- $1.2 billion for a one-time bonus for health care and mental hygiene workers.
- Ensures telehealth payment parity for providers caring for patients remotely.
SENATE DISTRICT 33:
“This budget replenishes the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERAP) program, which will help thousands of New Yorkers pay back rent arrears and stay in their homes, particularly in my district where we are facing the highest eviction rates in the state. We are also enhancing New York City’s Earned Income Tax Credit to bring more money to working families, allocating significant funding to prevent gun violence and support intervention programs, and helping our restaurants by allowing them to sell to-go alcoholic beverages.”
- $800 million to replenish the ERAP program to prevent evictions.
- $250 million for COVID-era utility arrears.
- $30 million for gun violence prevention and intervention programs.
- $350 million for the New York City Housing Authority.
- $35 million for the Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP), which provides legal services to homeowners facing foreclosure.
- Continuation of a $100 million state loan for future development of the Kingsbridge Armory.
EDUCATION & CHILD CARE:
“There is no better return on our investment than fully funding our children’s education. I am proud that this budget provides record level funding for school aid and continues Foundation Aid for a second year in a row. This budget also makes substantial investments in our higher education system, including the full restoration of TAP funding for part-time students. We certainly need to do more to better fund both the CUNY and SUNY systems as our students, educators, and staff deserve much better than what they are getting now.
The pandemic has shown us in many ways how essential child care is for New York’s success, but particularly for our low-income families. We have heard countless stories of how many parents, especially moms, had to make the tough decision to leave their jobs because they could not afford prohibitively expensive child care. While I am proud more New Yorkers will have access to child care, I find it baffling that this Governor’s budget will not meet the needs of our immigrant communities who are an integral part of our economy and workforce given the eligibility requirements that were set excluding undocumented children.”
- $31.5 billion in school aid.
- $400 million for CUNY and SUNY.
- TAP funding for incarcerated individuals.
- $5 billion to fund child care subsidy programs over the next three years.