Senator Cooney Celebrates Inclusion of Expanded Empire State Child Tax Credit In Approved State Budget

(ALBANY, NY) - Today, Senator Jeremy Cooney (D-Rochester) and anti-poverty advocates celebrated the expansion of NYS Empire Child Tax Credit benefits to include parents of children ages 0-3. Senator Cooney is the senate bill sponsor of the expansion of New York State’s child tax credit.

The current New York State Empire Child Tax Credit is available for parents of a child ages 4 through 16 that is a citizen, national, or resident alien of the United States. In the Senate One-House Budget passed in March, an expansion was included to provide benefits to parents of children ages 0-3. This expansion was approved in the final adopted state budget. 

This expansion will provide invaluable benefits to children across New York, including an estimated 15,000 children in Monroe County. 

While pleased with the outcome of budget negotiations, the work continues. Senator Cooney sponsors legislation (S.771) that would increase the credit for children 4 years and older to $500, and to $1,000 for children under 4. These provisions have the potential to be transformative for families with children across New York.

We are finally recognizing that children under age 4 are children in need,” said Senator Jeremy Cooney. “New York State is taking action in the absence of the federal government. We saw the impact of the expanded federal credits during the height of COVID, and unfortunately we are seeing the impacts of that program’s expiration now. New York is a progressive leader, and it is unconscionable that we have cities like Rochester, where nearly half of our children live in poverty. We seized the opportunity to invest in children like never before, and I thank Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Heastie for their support in expanding this state benefit. I look forward to increasing benefits next year to truly uplift New York families.”

"Some 900,000 babies and children 0-3 are now likely to be included in the Empire State Child Credit, thanks to the new agreement on the New York State budget," said Larry Marx, CEO of The Children's Agenda. "No child, especially not babies and toddlers, were born to endure hardships like food insecurity and untenable housing.  Including our youngest New Yorkers means strengthening one of the most important tools we have to reduce child poverty. As poverty and family hardships affording basic needs like housing and putting food on the table are growing now, this will help some 15,000 children in Monroe County.  As President Franklin Roosevelt once said, the ‘test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. With this budget, we took a step in the right direction, thanks to Sen. Cooney’s leadership.” 

“The expansion of the New York State Empire Child Tax Credit to infants and toddlers 0-3 years old is a major boost to families in Monroe County,” said Jerome Underwood, President & CEO, Action for a Better Community. “ABC serves hundreds of families with children in this range – they have basic daily needs, such as diapers, formula, child care and a frequent need for new clothes as the children grow. For the families we serve, and thousands of others, these costs put a significant strain on their low and moderate incomes. By giving families resources to support their children, we can ensure those children will get off to the solid start in life that every child deserves.”

"RMAPI applauds our state leaders for investing in families by expanding the child tax credit to include the youngest children,” said Aqua Y. Porter, Executive Director of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative. “We have called on the community to prioritize lifting children out of poverty and reducing the toxic stress affecting the mental health of so many families emerging out of the pandemic, and this is an important step toward that goal. When we take actions like this to increase pathways to upward mobility and reduce poverty over the long term, our entire community reaps the benefits of better lifetime health, improved educational attainment, higher earnings and better economic circumstances for everyone in our community.”

“The expansion of the Empire State Child tax credit to include children under four will help lift New York families out of poverty, making it easier for them to pay for food, clothing, gas, and rent,” said Yversha Roman, Director of Empire Justice Center’s CASH (Creating, Assets, Savings and Hope) program, which provides free tax preparation for low-income people in Rochester, NY. “This year, we saw our clients’ federal returns drop by about half – a direct result of tax policy changes at the federal level, and the reason why it was imperative that New York State take action now. We thank Senator Cooney, Senator Gounardes, and Assemblymember Hevesi for all their efforts on this important policy change.”




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