Statement from Senator Jose Peralta regarding the State’s Budget

East Elmhurst, NY — “While this budget is not perfect, and no budget is, this is a plan that we can be proud of. I am pleased to announce that my colleagues and I in Independent Democratic Conference were able to secure $10 million in funding for immigration legal defense services, in a groundbreaking and coordinated effort to fight President Trump’s attacks on our vibrant communities. So too, I am glad that we are finally acting to Raise The Age of criminal responsibility in New York State for children ages 16 and 17; everyone deserves a second chance and fair shot at reaching a bright future. Additionally, I am proud to report that we secured a historic increase in overall school aid of about $1 billion, which includes a $700 million increase in foundation aid to public schools, bringing the annual appropriation for foundation aid to approximately $1.1 billion dollars. Assuming that these funds are allocated proportionally by the City of New York, my District would receive approximately $18.3 million for our public schools. Without adequately funded public schools, schoolchildren across the City are placed at a severe disadvantage. Again, while this budget accomplishes a great deal of good, there are several issues that remain on the table. As the legislative session continues, I will be fighting hard in Albany to tie up these loose ends, and to deliver comprehensive policy reforms that enshrine the ideals of equality and fairness that this great State was built upon.”