Regular Session - March 14, 2022


 1                NEW YORK STATE SENATE








 9                  ALBANY, NEW YORK

10                   March 14, 2022

11                      2:09 p.m.



14                   REGULAR SESSION




18  SENATOR JAMAAL T. BAILEY, Acting President









 1                P R O C E E D I N G S

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 3    Senate will come to order.  

 4                 I ask everyone present to please 

 5    rise and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

 6                 (Whereupon, the assemblage recited 

 7    the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.)

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   In the 

 9    absence of clergy, let us bow our heads in a 

10    moment of silent reflection or prayer.

11                 (Whereupon, the assemblage respected 

12    a moment of silence.)

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

14    reading of the Journal.

15                 THE SECRETARY:   In Senate, Sunday, 

16    March 13, 2022, the Senate met pursuant to 

17    adjournment.  The Journal of Saturday, March 12, 

18    2022, was read and approved.  On motion, Senate 

19    adjourned.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Without 

21    objection, the Journal stands approved as read.

22                 Presentation of petitions.

23                 Messages from the Assembly.

24                 Messages from the Governor.

25                 Reports of standing committees.


 1                 Reports of select committees.

 2                 Communications and reports from 

 3    state officers.

 4                 Motions and resolutions.

 5                 Senator Gianaris.

 6                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Good afternoon.  

 7                 Mr. President, on behalf of Senator 

 8    Skoufis, I wish to call up Senate Print 1735, 

 9    recalled from the Assembly, which is now at the 

10    desk.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

12    Secretary will read.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

14    460, Senate Print 1735, by Senator Skoufis, an 

15    act to amend the General Business Law.

16                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Move to 

17    reconsider the vote by which the bill was passed.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

19    roll on reconsideration.

20                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 59.  

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

23    is restored to its place on the Third Reading 

24    Calendar.

25                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   I offer the 


 1    following amendments.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 3    amendments are received, and the bill will retain 

 4    its place on the Third Reading Calendar.

 5                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 6    there's a privileged resolution at the desk, 

 7    Senate Resolution 2081, by Leader 

 8    Stewart-Cousins.  Please take that resolution up 

 9    and read its title only.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

11    Secretary will read.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

13    2081, by Senator Stewart-Cousins, in response to 

14    the 2022-2023 Executive Budget submission 

15    (Legislative Bills S8000-A, S8001, S8002, 

16    S8003-A, S8004-A, S8005-A, S8006-A, S8007-A, 

17    S8008-A, S8009-A) to be adopted as legislation  

18    expressing the position of the New York State 

19    Senate relating to the 2022-2023 New York State 

20    Budget.  

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

22    Gianaris.

23                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, I 

24    expect there's going to be extensive debate on 

25    this resolution.  For that debate, our Finance 


 1    chair, Senator Krueger, will be responding for 

 2    the Majority.  

 3                 And we are ready at this time to 

 4    begin the debate.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

 6    you, Senator Gianaris.  

 7                 Senator O'Mara.

 8                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Thank you, 

 9    Mr. President.  Thank you, Senator Gianaris.  

10    Senator Krueger, look forward to some 

11    explanations of the Senate one-house budget that 

12    we have before us today.

13                 I guess on the resolution for a 

14    moment, please, Mr. President.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

16    O'Mara on the resolution.

17                 SENATOR O'MARA:   It won't be long.

18                 So we have received this Senate 

19    one-house budget resolution about 7 p.m. last 

20    night.  It's 2 p.m. the next day now.  So, you 

21    know, it's 19 hours for our staff and ourselves 

22    to digest what is being proposed as a nearly 

23    $230 billion budget.  

24                 Increasing spending overall by about 

25    8 percent, increasing the state funds portion of 


 1    that spending by over 11 percent year to year, on 

 2    top of what was in excess of a 10 percent 

 3    increase in this current year's budget year to 

 4    year.  That's an over 20 percent increase in just 

 5    state funding over the years, and about a 

 6    22 percent increase in overall funding, including 

 7    the federal money that's come in for us.  

 8                 This spending, in my opinion and I 

 9    think from our side of the aisle, is 

10    unsustainable, it's unwarranted, and it really 

11    doesn't -- the resolution proposed, and we'll get 

12    into some of the subject matter here, doesn't 

13    respond enough to the issues of the day of 

14    everyday New Yorkers, of the overall 

15    affordability of living in New York State by 

16    New Yorkers.

17                 It does nothing to end the exodus of 

18    New Yorkers from New York State as the majorities 

19    in both houses, for years now, have worked to 

20    massively increase state spending, and further 

21    stifling economic activity in New York State when 

22    we should be looking to do everything we can to 

23    foster a better business climate in New York 

24    State so that businesses can provide the 

25    opportunities to New Yorkers that we all need to 


 1    meet our everyday costs of living, which continue 

 2    to escalate disproportionately in New York State.

 3                 You know, aside from what is now an 

 4    8 percent inflation rate nationally, we're adding 

 5    to that in New York State by going with an 

 6    11-plus percent increase of spending in New York 

 7    State.  I will note I believe -- and we'll ask 

 8    some questions on this in a moment -- that there 

 9    are not tax increases in this proposal and that 

10    the Majority is pursuing the reduction of the 

11    middle-class income tax rate that had been put 

12    off for a few years.  And that's important, I 

13    think, to go towards the affordability of 

14    New York State.  

15                 Beyond that, there isn't much here, 

16    frankly, for everyday New Yorkers to meet their 

17    budgets and their households, to provide for 

18    their families, and to have the economic 

19    opportunities of a job in New York State and the 

20    dignity and self-respect to go to work and earn a 

21    living to provide for themselves, as opposed to 

22    sitting back and waiting for further and further 

23    handouts from state government and federal 

24    government.

25                 So with that, Mr. President, if 


 1    Senator Krueger could yield for a few questions, 

 2    starting out, at least, on the financial plan.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:    

 4    Certainly.  Senator Krueger, do you yield for a 

 5    few questions?  

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will, 

 7    Mr. President.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 9    Krueger yields.  

10                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Now, Senator 

11    Krueger, can you explain to us how this level of 

12    increased spending of over 10 percent last year, 

13    over 11 percent this year, is sustainable to 

14    New Yorkers and to New York State government, 

15    using up surplus funds we have now, using up 

16    federal assistance that's come for COVID?  When 

17    that money's gone, how is this increased spending 

18    going to be sustained?

19                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.

20                 Thank you, Mr. President.  I'd like 

21    to thank the sponsor -- excuse me, my colleague 

22    for the question.  And I think I need to put it 

23    in the context of what we're doing with the 

24    one-house, as he raised some issues about the 

25    context that he perhaps was misinformed about our 


 1    one-house.

 2                 The things he was laying out, 

 3    Mr. President, that he hopes for all New Yorkers 

 4    are exactly the things we are trying to do in 

 5    this one-house budget.  We have heard the working 

 6    people -- the people of New York State who have 

 7    come off of two years of COVID, the people of 

 8    New York who have come off of years and years of 

 9    underinvestment in the programs and services they 

10    need -- crying out for help.  And we are 

11    attempting to respond to them in this budget.  

12                 So we are investing in childcare so 

13    that mothers and fathers can go to work and be 

14    assured that their young children are taken care 

15    of, are helped with education and protected so 

16    that they can go and earn more money for 

17    themselves.

18                 We are investing in desperately 

19    needed home care services at the other end of 

20    life -- as you're older, as you're disabled, 

21    you're in a situation where you can't even get 

22    home care services so that a family member may 

23    have to give up a job in order to stay home with 

24    you, and you may not get the care you need at all 

25    and may be trapped alone.  Meanwhile, the wage 


 1    rates for home care workers and other low-income 

 2    workers in the healthcare professions -- they're 

 3    crying out for more people to come into these 

 4    fields.  We need people to work in these fields, 

 5    but we need to be able to pay them a wage that 

 6    even provides them enough money to pay for a car 

 7    to drive to their job in upstate New York.  And 

 8    right now the wages are so low they can't even 

 9    afford to take the jobs.

10                 We hear the people of New York 

11    talking about needing to make sure that our 

12    public college system is invested in at the level 

13    that assures our young people are getting the 

14    education they need to compete in a 21st-century 

15    labor market.  Do you know that New York's young 

16    people are going to other states' public 

17    university systems because they can't get what 

18    they need in our CUNY and SUNY systems, because 

19    we have failed to underwrite them at the level 

20    they need to be underwritten to ensure 

21    New Yorkers can graduate, get jobs here, stay 

22    here and raise their own families here?  That's 

23    what we hear people crying out for.

24                 So we are putting significant new 

25    investments in the infrastructure for care for 


 1    people, for jobs for people, and of course for 

 2    the fundamentals of infrastructure in the very 

 3    traditional sense of making sure that we have 

 4    roads and bridges and buildings that are going to 

 5    hold up and ensure that we can get to and from 

 6    the jobs, get to and from the cities and towns, 

 7    invest in our public transportation system, 

 8    invest in all the things that the research shows 

 9    drive people and businesses to New York and keeps 

10    them here.

11                 So I'm very, very proud of the 

12    investments we are attempting to make through our 

13    one-house budget bill.  And yes, to answer 

14    Senator O'Mara's question, we are spending a bit 

15    more money than the Governor originally laid out.  

16    And we are changing how she would be using some 

17    of the funds because we believe there are better 

18    uses.  But we do believe this is sustainable, 

19    particularly because investing in job creation, 

20    investing in our small businesses, investing in 

21    our higher education, investing in our childcare 

22    means there's more opportunities for more people 

23    to go back into the labor market or join the 

24    labor market and, of course, become taxpayers 

25    into the state's revenues into the future.


 1                 So he's correct that we are 

 2    increasing the operating spending by about 

 3    $9 billion in the Executive Budget over what the 

 4    Governor recommended.  But in fact we all agreed, 

 5    including my colleague Senator O'Mara, that there 

 6    was an additional $1.2 billion in revenue 

 7    consensus offsets, and that we are including that 

 8    and spending that.  

 9                 We all know that the Governor held 

10    $2 billion for a pandemic assistance account.  

11    We're programming that into issues that we think 

12    are the critical things to spend money on this 

13    year.  

14                 We are fast-tracking casinos a year 

15    early so that we anticipate $3 billion in casino 

16    licenses.  We are decreasing the rate at which 

17    the Governor proposed debt prepayment.  We're not 

18    not paying our debts; I assure you we are.  But 

19    the Governor proposed a fairly dramatic speedup, 

20    spinup, of prepaying debt, and so we reduce that 

21    from $3 billion to 1.5 billion, and that gives us 

22    another billion and a half dollars.  

23                 And yes, the Governor also had a 

24    robust proposal to increase the amount of our 

25    reserves in a Rainy Day Fund, which she proposed 


 1    at approximately 3.2 billion and we're reducing 

 2    to 1.8 billion -- am I getting that right?  

 3                 Excuse me.  She proposed a 

 4    $5 billion Rainy Day Fund contribution, and we 

 5    are reducing that by 1.8 billion, leaving 

 6    3.2 billion to go into the reserve fund this 

 7    year.

 8                 We're also hoping that our federal 

 9    government will continue to follow through on a 

10    number of the commitments that they have verbally 

11    made but not completed the legislative 

12    assignments on.  So we also want to make sure, in 

13    an era where there are New Yorkers at risk of 

14    eviction and homelessness, that there are 

15    landlords who can't be paid because there isn't 

16    the money in their tenants' pockets to pay 

17    them -- we are hoping very much that the federal 

18    government will make good on a commitment to 

19    increase the amount of money they are sending us 

20    to help landlords who are owed money and tenants 

21    who owe money.  And everybody wants them to be 

22    paid, we just need the money to do so.

23                 So I think that's the general 

24    outline of the answers to your questions, 

25    Senator O'Mara.


 1                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Thank you, 

 2    Senator.  

 3                 Through you, Mr. President, if the 

 4    Senator will continue to yield.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 6    Krueger, do you continue to yield?  

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Happily.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 9    Senator yields.

10                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Just to clarify 

11    some of these numbers that we've opened up with 

12    on the overall.

13                 Last year's budget increased 

14    spending year to year by over $11 billion, and 

15    that was the significantly largest increase in 

16    the prior decade of state spending.  Would you 

17    agree with that, Senator Krueger?

18                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I believe that 

19    numerically that's correct.  And that was heavily 

20    due to a massive surge of federal revenue just at 

21    the last few days before we completed last year's 

22    budget.  

23                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through you, 

24    Mr. President, if the Senator will continue to 

25    yield.


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Do you 

 2    yield, Senator Krueger?  

 3                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 5    Krueger yields.

 6                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Well, I would 

 7    submit that the lion's share of that increased 

 8    spending last year was due to the insatiable 

 9    desires of these majorities to continue to spend.  

10    And last year you had Governor Cuomo over a 

11    barrel with the investigations that were going 

12    on, and took full advantage of that situation to 

13    increase spending by 11 billion.

14                 This year, in addition to that new 

15    spending of 11 billion last year, we're looking 

16    at -- while Governor Hochul only increased the 

17    budget by 3.2 percent in her proposal, with a 

18    spending increase of $3.7 billion, you raised 

19    that by 9.1 billion, so it's $12.8 billion 

20    increased spending from year to year.  Is that 

21    correct?

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, that sounds 

23    about right.

24                 SENATOR O'MARA:   How much -- 

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 


 1    O'Mara, are you asking the sponsor to yield?  

 2                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Yes, through you, 

 3    Mr. President, if the sponsor would yield for a 

 4    question.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 6    sponsor yield?

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 9    sponsor yields.

10                 SENATOR O'MARA:   How much of the 

11    federal pandemic relief -- which was I think 

12    about $12.7 billion -- how much of that is being 

13    utilized to balance this budget?

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   $2.4 billion.

15                 SENATOR O'MARA:   And then how much 

16    of that has been spent already?  How much of that 

17    $12.7 billion has been spent already?

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

19    O'Mara, are you asking Senator Krueger to yield?  

20                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Yes, I am, sorry.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Do you 

22    yield, Senator Krueger?  

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.  I 

24    believe about 4.5 billion has been spent already.

25                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through you, 


 1    Mr. President, if Senator Krueger will continue 

 2    to yield.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 4    sponsor yield?

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Of course.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 7    sponsor yields.

 8                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Of the -- I 

 9    forget, so I'll just ask this question, 

10    Senator Krueger.  Of the budget surplus funds 

11    that we have -- I forget the exact amount off the 

12    top of my head right now; you mentioned it 

13    before -- how much of those surplus funds are we 

14    spending in this year's budget?

15                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   We're continuing 

16    to make deposits into the reserve fund.  So we're 

17    doing 3.2 billion into the reserve fund.  

18                 So the Governor's Executive Budget 

19    would have put 5 billion in, and we are putting 

20    3.2 billion in.

21                 SENATOR O'MARA:   So we're 

22    putting -- through you, Mr. President, if the 

23    Senator would yield.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

25    sponsor yield?


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I do.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 3    sponsor yields.

 4                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through my numbers 

 5    that I have in my head -- and they're rough, they 

 6    may not be exact, so correct me if I'm wrong -- 

 7    that we have somewhere in the range of surplus 

 8    revenues in our budget of $10 billion, and we're 

 9    only putting 3.2 of that into reserves for future 

10    years?  So we're spending close to $7 billion of 

11    that in this year's budget?  

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Give us a minute.  

13    (Pause.)

14                 Through you, Mr. President, if I 

15    could ask Senator O'Mara to clarify where he 

16    thinks the 10 billion surplus is.  (Pause.)  

17                 I'm sorry, Mr. President, I was 

18    asking if you could ask Senator O'Mara to clarify 

19    where he thinks the 10 billion surplus is.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   

21    Certainly.   

22                 Senator O'Mara, can you clarify the 

23    question, please?  

24                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through you, 

25    Mr. President, that $10 billion figure is a 


 1    combination of federal pandemic funds that have 

 2    come in and increased revenues throughout the 

 3    fiscal year above what was budgeted?  

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I apologize, can 

 5    I please ask him to rephrase the question again 

 6    for us, the original question.

 7                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Yes, through you, 

 8    Mr. President.  

 9                 Senator Krueger, year to year, from 

10    last year to this year -- in this year's current 

11    budget, what is the anticipated revenue surplus?  

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Over what we 

13    projected?  So when we end this year, how much 

14    additional revenue will we expect to still have 

15    over what we had earlier anticipated, is that 

16    what the question is?

17                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Yes.  

18                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Through you, 

19    Mr. President.  While you can always label things 

20    differently, we believe that the -- that the 

21    Governor originally said there was 5 billion that 

22    she would put into reserves, and now we're 

23    reducing that to 3.2 billion to go to reserves.  

24    So that would be the surplus.

25                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through you, 


 1    Mr. President, if the Senator would yield.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 3    sponsor yield? 

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 6    sponsor yields.

 7                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Senator, the 

 8    figures I have are that revenues exceeded 

 9    expectations by about $4.5 billion in the last -- 

10    the prior fiscal year, and they're on track about 

11    the same.  So roughly $9 billion over last year 

12    and this current year?  

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So if we're 

14    counting last year plus the future year -- so the 

15    year we're ending plus the future year, and 

16    that's approximately 9 billion, close to 

17    10 billion above what was originally projected, 

18    right, from different revenues -- we are spending 

19    some in the coming year in our proposal and we 

20    are still having 3.2 billion to go into reserves.  

21    Plus the five from this year.

22                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Can you clarify 

23    that?  Where does that five fit in there?

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Okay.  Yes.  So 

25    there was a projected 10 billion over the two 


 1    years.  The Governor is putting 5 billion away 

 2    from this year that we are ending, the '21-'22 

 3    year, and then she was also planning to put 

 4    5 billion in the '22-'23 year, but we are only 

 5    leaving her 3.2 billion for an additional 

 6    reserve.

 7                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through you, 

 8    Mr. President, if the Senator would yield.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

10    sponsor yield?

11                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Of course.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

13    sponsor yields.

14                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Of that then 

15    $2 billion that you're taking away from reserves 

16    that Governor Hochul had put in, what is that 

17    going towards?

18                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   That is part of 

19    the $9 billion of increased spending that our 

20    one-house budget lays out in totality.  

21                 So it's not that the 2 billion is 

22    specifically for Item A versus Item B; it is 

23    money that we are defining as available for 

24    increased expenditures that are quite broad and 

25    quite transformative across any number of 


 1    important issues.

 2                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Thank you, 

 3    Senator.

 4                 Mr. President, through you, would 

 5    the sponsor continue to yield.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

 7    sponsor yield?

 8                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

10    sponsor yields.

11                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Thank you, 

12    Senator Krueger.

13                 Out of those surplus funds that 

14    are -- that you're allowing in the Governor's 

15    Executive Budget to go towards reserves, can you 

16    outline where those monies are going to be put 

17    into reserves, and for what purposes?  And is 

18    this one-house changing the funds from what the 

19    Governor had proposed?

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So the Governor 

21    proposed 5 billion going into reserves in the 

22    coming year.  In our analysis, she's only left 

23    with 3.2 billion to go into reserves.  The 

24    reserves are not defined as for specific items.  

25                 (Pause.)  I love the questions, 


 1    thank you.  I'm learning more every day.

 2                 So there are statutory reserves and 

 3    non-statutory reserves.  So there's 920,000 of 

 4    statutory reserves -- 920 million.  What's 

 5    920,000?  It's petty cash -- 920 million in 

 6    statutory reserves, and we aren't touching that.  

 7    That will continue to go so.  And then the 

 8    remaining reserves will go into the general 

 9    reserves.  The economic uncertainties reserve.

10                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through you, 

11    Mr. President, can you -- can the sponsor answer 

12    another question.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

14    sponsor yield? 

15                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I'll do my 

16    damndest to try, yes, sir, Mr. President.

17                 (Laughter.)

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

19    sponsor will do her damnedest.

20                 (Laughter.)

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

22    sponsor yields.

23                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Of that fund, what 

24    is the outline for uses of that money in that 

25    fund?


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   For which one, 

 2    the statutory reserve or the economic -- 

 3                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Economic 

 4    uncertainties fund.

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Not defined.  You 

 6    know, you hit another bad period, tax revenues go 

 7    down, another pandemic hits, the federal 

 8    government changes hands and stops sending to the 

 9    states, et cetera, et cetera.

10                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through you, 

11    Mr. President, if the sponsor will yield.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

13    sponsor yield? 

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.  

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

16    sponsor yields.  

17                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Of the money going 

18    into reserves, how much of that is going to pay 

19    down the debt that the state owes to the federal 

20    government for the Unemployment Insurance Fund 

21    that the state borrowed and it now has a balance 

22    of about $9 billion still owed to the federal 

23    government?  

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So neither the 

25    Governor's proposal for the reserves nor our 


 1    proposal for the reserves specifies that any of 

 2    it goes back to the federal government for the 

 3    UIB borrowing.  But there is 600 million within 

 4    our budget proposal to help repay the interest -- 

 5    is it the interest or the actual underlying -- so 

 6    the 600 million goes to helping with the 

 7    underlying debt.  

 8                 And just to remind everyone, when we 

 9    borrow from the federal government to pay out 

10    UIB, as we did during the pandemic because we had 

11    so many unemployed people, technically UIB is not 

12    an on-budget or General Fund expenditure, it is a 

13    separate program paid for by businesses.  

14                 So yes, this has to be paid back, 

15    hopefully at the lowest or zero interest 

16    possible.  Hopefully the federal government may 

17    decide to allow us to discount some of what we 

18    owe them.  But it's actually not a budget item 

19    per se, it's a separate item.

20                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through you, 

21    Mr. President, will the Senator yield.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

23    sponsor yield?

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 


 1    sponsor yields.

 2                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Senator Krueger, 

 3    we have seen quite a few other states in the 

 4    nation that racked up pretty incredible 

 5    unemployment debt to the federal government 

 6    during the pandemic that have utilized their 

 7    pandemic relief to help pay down that debt so 

 8    that ultimately businesses and employers don't 

 9    have to pay that back over a series of years for 

10    that debt.

11                 Why are we in New York choosing a 

12    different course of action?  And why is it 

13    appropriate to -- over the period of this 

14    lingering debt, for however long it lasts -- why 

15    should we be requiring employers to shoulder that 

16    burden from the pandemic which will further 

17    tighten their businesses and their ability to 

18    hire people to work?

19                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   We actually, in a 

20    separate section of our one-house, are moving to 

21    delay some of what they would otherwise owe.  

22    That's 600 million.  

23                 And you ask an excellent public 

24    policy question about why do different states 

25    make different decisions with their money.  So 


 1    one of the answers -- I'd have to go back to 

 2    earlier decisions in the state -- we actually 

 3    don't, per business, collect as much from 

 4    businesses for unemployment costs as many states.  

 5    We're behind on having increased our scale of 

 6    what we collect.  

 7                 So it left us with less money than 

 8    some other states, but it's still the fundamental 

 9    question of who is obligated to pay for 

10    unemployment benefits.  And the design and model 

11    has been that businesses are responsible for 

12    paying for unemployment benefits.  The workers 

13    pay into it when they're employed, and the state 

14    holds the funds and distributes them.  

15                 But I don't think that this state 

16    has had a public policy debate about changing the 

17    rules of the road so that unemployment benefits 

18    are not an obligation of business but rather an 

19    obligation of the General Fund or the taxpayer.

20                 What I am very proud of is that we 

21    are investing a large amount of money within our 

22    one-house budget in helping the smallest 

23    businesses with their debts and to help them stay 

24    open, or even to reopen when they've been forced 

25    to close, to get workers back to work so that 


 1    they're building up the tax revenue and actually 

 2    paying into the unemployment fund, which will 

 3    help it bounce back more quickly.

 4                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through you, 

 5    Mr. President, if the Senator would yield.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 7    sponsor yield?

 8                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

10    sponsor yields.

11                 SENATOR O'MARA:   I'm not suggesting 

12    that we change the method of how unemployment is 

13    paid for in New York State on -- in a regular 

14    environment.  We've come through a two-year 

15    pandemic that had significant unanticipated 

16    layoffs, causing people to go into the 

17    unemployment fund, that were no fault of that 

18    business.  It's no fault of the business either 

19    cutting back or laying off employees, it has to 

20    do with the pandemic that built up this 

21    $9 billion fund.

22                 And the Majority in this house 

23    thinks it's reasonable to use only $600 million 

24    of in excess of $10 billion available and 

25    $12.7 billion in pandemic aid, most of which has 


 1    not been spent.  Why that greater effort is not 

 2    being made in these exigent circumstances of the 

 3    unemployment insurance -- not changing the way we 

 4    account for unemployment costs going forward, but 

 5    for this period of time of the pandemic that 

 6    specifically created this $9 billion debt, why 

 7    are we not making a greater effort towards paying 

 8    that down?  

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I don't think 

10    there's $12 billion left of federal pandemic aid.  

11    I don't know where that number came from.  But -- 

12    one second.  

13                 But I do think it's still partly an 

14    ideological disagreement, Tom -- Senator O'Mara, 

15    sorry.  That we're trying to make sure that the 

16    money that we have available to spend is invested 

17    in creating jobs for New Yorkers who need to go 

18    to work, who need to make sure that their 

19    children are cared for so that they can go to 

20    work, as opposed to making the decision to help 

21    businesses repay something they owe under the law 

22    while we are trying to smooth out and decrease 

23    the rate at which they have to pay it back.  

24                 But if you look at the history of 

25    unemployment benefits, you have your good times 


 1    and then you have your times of recession.  And 

 2    during times of recession, you end up spending 

 3    down a lot more unemployment and you, thank 

 4    goodness, can turn to the federal government for 

 5    loans to make sure that those benefits are paid.  

 6    And then, over time, businesses repay the fund 

 7    and everybody moves forward.

 8                 So the UIB, since it was created, 

 9    has actually proved to be a model that does over 

10    time adjust for the good times and the bad 

11    times -- or I suppose, biblically, the fat cow 

12    times and the thin cow times.  And I have 

13    confidence that we will do the same again.

14                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through you, 

15    Mr. President, if the Senator will continue to 

16    yield.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

18    sponsor continue to yield?

19                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I do.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator  

21    Krueger yields.

22                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Senator, can you 

23    point to any other period of time in our UIB 

24    program where we have had anywheres close to this 

25    number of job losses due to not just a pandemic, 


 1    but to anything that was other than unrelated to 

 2    a specific business?  

 3                 You know, where in our history -- 

 4    this seems to be unprecedented, to me, the job 

 5    losses and the debt that we owe the federal 

 6    government, that is unrelated to economic -- just 

 7    economic normal conditions.  So, you know, how -- 

 8    why is this not being treated differently?  

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I think we would 

10    both need to go back and look up the history of 

11    UIB and where the unemployment rate has been at 

12    different times in our history to know the 

13    answer.  I certainly don't know that off the top 

14    of my head.  

15                 I mean, the recent reference is the 

16    2008-'10 economic collapse of much of the world 

17    economy.  And I think we ended up owing 5 billion 

18    back to the federal government at that time, 

19    which we were able to pay back under our normal 

20    rules of the road.

21                 I'm going to guess that the one 

22    previous to that -- it's almost every ten years 

23    that you end up with some kind of recession 

24    period.  But I don't have that data memorized.  

25    Perhaps one of the staff can do that homework for 


 1    us and get back to me during the course of this 

 2    debate.  

 3                 But right now I'd have to say for as 

 4    long as we've had UIB, we've had a situation 

 5    where we had our good times and our bad times 

 6    that were caused by all kinds of reasons, 

 7    including war, and we've been able to bounce 

 8    back.

 9                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through you, 

10    Mr. President, if the Senator will continue to 

11    yield.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

13    sponsor yield?

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

16    sponsor yields.

17                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Shifting gears off 

18    of that topic a little bit, even though I would 

19    certainly disagree with you that this pandemic 

20    was not -- it was and is unprecedented in the 

21    history of the UIB and therefore should be 

22    treated differently, rather than just requiring 

23    employers to pass that cost on and therefore 

24    stifle hiring, in my opinion, and the creation of 

25    those job opportunities that New Yorkers 


 1    desperately need.

 2                 From -- in this budget resolution 

 3    that's before us, what is the increase in 

 4    anticipated revenues to New York State from year 

 5    to year?

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So we're showing 

 7    an 8 percent increase in annual growth under 

 8    taxes and a 3.2 percent All Funds receipts annual 

 9    growth rate.

10                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through you, 

11    Mr. President, if the Senator would continue to 

12    yield.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

14    sponsor continue to yield?  

15                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

17    sponsor yields.

18                 SENATOR O'MARA:   What is the dollar 

19    amount of those two figures you gave me from year 

20    to year?

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Okay.  For our 

22    growth in taxes, it's 109 million, 109.257 

23    million.  And for our total All Funds receipts, 

24    it's 234 million, 302,000 -- billion, sorry.  

25    Total All Funds -- excuse me.  I'm sorry, Tom.  


 1    Total All Funds receipts will be 234 billion 

 2    compared to this year, which was 220 billion.  So 

 3    a 3.2 percent growth.  No?  (Pause.)

 4                 You know what, Tom, I don't want to 

 5    be on the record reading you the wrong numbers.  

 6    So something was slightly off.

 7                 SENATOR O'MARA:   I appreciate 

 8    clarifying these numbers -- 

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.  So 

10    I'll stick with --

11                 (Overtalk.)

12                 CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  All right, I'll 

13    stick with the tax revenue.  

14                 But the total All Funds receipts 

15    this year:  227 billion, 138 million.  Next year, 

16    our projected, 234 billion, 302 million.  We like 

17    those numbers better.

18                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through you, 

19    Mr. President, if the Senator will continue to 

20    yield.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

22    sponsor yield?

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, sir.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

25    sponsor yields.


 1                 SENATOR O'MARA:   So from my I guess 

 2    evaluation of those numbers -- I think I'm 

 3    reading from the same page as you now, from the 

 4    financial plan -- there's about an $8 billion 

 5    estimated or anticipated increase in taxes in 

 6    New York State and an increase of about 

 7    $7 billion in All Funds revenues.  

 8                 Those are significant -- that is 

 9    significantly less, I would say, than the 

10    proposed spending increases in this Senate 

11    one-house proposal.  

12                 Once the surplus monies are expended 

13    throughout this year, the coming year and the 

14    year after that, how does the Senate Majority 

15    intend to continue to sustain that level of 

16    spending without the shortfall between revenue 

17    increases in spending and therefore, then, 

18    without the federal aid that will probably be 

19    gone within two years?  

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So for this year 

21    taxes -- projected taxes are still higher than 

22    what we're expecting to spend, so we're fine for 

23    this year.

24                 We try to do outyear projections; we 

25    always end up changing them.  But the expectation 


 1    is that we will continue to see some tax growth 

 2    the year afterwards, an outyear.  That is an 

 3    outyear where the Governor is now also proposing 

 4    putting another 5 billion into reserve funds.

 5                 I'm not exactly sure how much we 

 6    expect to put in the outyear, but that's always 

 7    another question for us.

 8                 But we actually do feel that at the 

 9    rate of tax growth and the rate of the money that 

10    we are expecting to spend if we had our one-year 

11    budget -- one-house budget, that we actually 

12    would still be fine for this year and at least 

13    the year after.

14                 And again, things change rapidly in 

15    government.  So I should point out what you 

16    already know, what we all know:  This is an 

17    aspirational budget where we hope we can 

18    accomplish as much of this as possible.  We need 

19    to go into negotiations with our colleagues and 

20    with the Governor, and we will see where the 

21    final numbers end up.  But we're feeling pretty 

22    comfortable about our ability to meet our 

23    responsibilities to the people of New York and 

24    meet our aspirational targets.

25                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Through you, 


 1    Mr. President, if the Senator would yield.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 3    sponsor yield?

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I do.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 6    sponsor yields.

 7                 SENATOR O'MARA:   I would agree, 

 8    Senator Krueger, that these are certainly 

 9    aspirational numbers.  

10                 I believe they're unrealistic and 

11    unsustainable over the years, particularly with 

12    the uncertainty we have going forward with our 

13    economy with 8 percent inflation and many 

14    economic pundits talking about recession now.  

15    That will certainly impact the revenues and 

16    receipts of the state going forward.  

17                 What do we have in this one-house 

18    aspiration to provide for this risk of a 

19    recession and a drop in revenues for all of these 

20    recurring billions of dollars in expenses that 

21    are built into this?

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   As I mentioned 

23    several times, we are putting money into a 

24    reserve fund that has already grown by 5 billion 

25    this year and would grow by another 3.2 billion 


 1    in the coming year.

 2                 We live in a tricky age, I agree 

 3    with Senator O'Mara.  I remember standing here 

 4    two years ago when we were dealing with a budget 

 5    and literally the words "COVID" and "pandemic" 

 6    had just first been uttered.  And everyone 

 7    realized that suddenly everything might be 

 8    changing, and we had no idea what the impact 

 9    would be on our budget.  

10                 And we -- the Governor then asked us 

11    to give him extraordinary powers both over 

12    emergency situations and to the ability to borrow 

13    money.  I think we gave him 11 billion 

14    supplemental emergency borrowing power at the 

15    time.  Approximately.  And then a year later, we 

16    were still literally moving into the final weeks 

17    of negotiating a budget, still in panic about 

18    what would we do if the federal government didn't 

19    come through with the committed but 

20    not-yet-delivered funds.  And then suddenly they 

21    came through with about $13 billion, and 

22    overnight we were shifting our math and our 

23    realties.  

24                 And then over last year, where -- a 

25    few weeks before the budget was passed we had no 


 1    idea whether we would have enough money to get 

 2    through the year or not, and we were talking 

 3    about all kinds of emergency responses, none of 

 4    which were pretty.  And then the money came and 

 5    then we started taking a look -- and our tax 

 6    revenues were skyrocketing, and we couldn't even 

 7    figure out why.  So that even during a time of 

 8    extraordinary difficulty in our economy for large 

 9    numbers of businesses and people, some people and 

10    businesses did extraordinarily well and have 

11    triggered larger tax revenues than we imagined.

12                 So based on the last couple of 

13    years' experience, I feel that none of us have a 

14    great crystal ball about what happens two years 

15    out from now.

16                 What I do know is New York State is 

17    very good at making adjustments when it has to, 

18    even very large adjustments.  And so I think as a 

19    state, as a government, we want to fight for the 

20    best that we can do.  We want to both use hope 

21    and intelligence to invest in the kinds of 

22    programs and services that will strengthen our 

23    families, strengthen our businesses, make us more 

24    competitive in the world we live in -- and hope 

25    it all goes the right direction.  


 1                 And no, sometimes it's not going to 

 2    go that way and we're going to need to pivot 

 3    fast.  But if the last couple of years in 

 4    New York State has taught us nothing else, it's 

 5    taught us both our endurance and our ability to 

 6    pivot fast.

 7                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Thank you, 

 8    Senator Krueger.  

 9                 Mr. President, if the Senator will 

10    continue to yield.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:  Does the 

12    sponsor continue to yield?

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

15    sponsor yields.

16                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Just wrapping up 

17    here.  One more specific thing I wanted to get 

18    into before I hand it over to my colleagues to 

19    continue in various subject matter areas.

20                 An area that has been highlighted 

21    both nationally, regionally, and in New York 

22    State has to do with manufacturing and, you know, 

23    the impacts of the pandemic on the global supply 

24    chain, our inability to provide -- to manufacture 

25    and provide the products that we need right here 


 1    within our state but particularly within our 

 2    nation as a whole, not being overly dependent in 

 3    these times.  

 4                 What in this one-house proposal is 

 5    there to benefit manufacturers of New York State 

 6    and to foster further manufacturing activity in 

 7    New York State?  I would note that I think about 

 8    six or seven years ago we eliminated the 

 9    corporate franchise tax for manufacturers in 

10    New York State.  I was a strong proponent of 

11    that.  And that fell short because it only ended 

12    up applying to subchapter C corporations and not 

13    so-called pass-through entities such as 

14    partnerships, LLCs, subchapter S corporations 

15    that were left out, and they make up about 

16    75 percent of all manufacturers in New York 

17    State.

18                 I don't see any proposal in this 

19    one-house resolution that focuses either on that, 

20    to eliminate the corporate franchise tax to the 

21    pass-through manufacturing entities, or anything 

22    else in here that's going to help us foster and 

23    bolster our manufacturing in New York State -- 

24    which are good jobs, but also a matter of 

25    security interest to provide for our needs when 


 1    we may not be able to get it from around the 

 2    globe.

 3                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So I agree we 

 4    want to do more to help our local manufacturers 

 5    and to support manufacturing.  Because Senator 

 6    O'Mara is absolutely right, the supply chain 

 7    realities were laid out and left this country raw 

 8    when we couldn't build our own products, when we 

 9    couldn't make the things we needed when we 

10    couldn't get them from anywhere else.

11                 So this conference, and in our 

12    one-house, we are very focused on making sure we 

13    are investing in small business, because small 

14    businesses actually do create the jobs in our 

15    economy and can move more quickly and respond 

16    more quickly.

17                 So we establish -- excuse me -- the 

18    suspension of state taxes -- oh, wait.  Excuse 

19    me.  (Pause.)  

20                 We're reducing the gas taxes, so -- 

21    which was particularly important for trucking and 

22    manufactured products to reduce the prices.  So 

23    we're lowering the gas taxes by an estimated 

24    $648 million. 

25                 We are allocating an additional 


 1    200 million to the Small Business Seed Funding 

 2    grant program.  Instead of taking money from 

 3    existing programs, it expands the lists of 

 4    businesses that can apply to this program as well 

 5    as allowing those who lost businesses due to the 

 6    COVID pandemic to get some assistance which they 

 7    can use to restart small business.

 8                 We expand incentives to install 

 9    renewable energy, like thermal and geothermal and 

10    solar products in our homes and our businesses, 

11    providing significant tax credits to cover those 

12    costs.

13                 And the truth is the faster we are 

14    moving to a green economy, and the faster we are 

15    moving to things that deal with climate change, 

16    the more new manufacturing opportunities there 

17    are and will be in our state.  In fact, Tom 

18    DiNapoli, the State Comptroller, recently put out 

19    a report staying that we had already created one 

20    million new jobs in New York State thanks to our 

21    investment and shift to green environmental 

22    standards and green energy.  

23                 So the opportunities for job 

24    creation from manufacturing of products you and I 

25    might never have heard of even yet, are enormous 


 1    in the future.  And I think that if you review 

 2    our complete one-house budget you will see we are 

 3    heavily, heavily committed to investing in 

 4    climate change and environmental changes that 

 5    will absolutely help our manufacturing and our 

 6    small businesses.  

 7                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Thank you, 

 8    Senator.

 9                 Mr. President, I guess on the 

10    resolution briefly.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

12    O'Mara on the resolution.

13                 SENATOR O'MARA:   I'd love to spend 

14    the next hour and a half on the Green New Deal, 

15    Senator, but I have colleagues that want to ask 

16    questions.  And as that's going to cost 

17    New Yorkers in excess of $300 billion -- and 

18    those are numbers by the proponents of these 

19    changes.  

20                 With all due respect, with your 

21    response to my question on what we're doing for 

22    manufacturers specifically -- specifically, 

23    there's nothing in this one-house budget proposal 

24    to specifically help manufacturers in New York 

25    State.  


 1                 I've been a strong proponent of 

 2    manufacturing since my time in the Legislature.  

 3    I believe it's where our number-one economic 

 4    development focus should be, because so many 

 5    other industries and jobs grow off of the 

 6    manufacturing sector to provide the opportunities 

 7    that New Yorkers need so that they can afford the 

 8    outrageous costs of living in New York that this 

 9    State Legislature continues to foist upon them, 

10    making New York State more and more unaffordable 

11    and adding to the exodus of New Yorkers.  

12                 And we're doing nothing to foster 

13    that base of manufacturing that should be the 

14    bedrock of our -- of any economy, but 

15    particularly here in New York State, to foster 

16    the spinoff businesses and jobs that come with 

17    that.  

18                 And with that, I will yield my time 

19    to my colleagues, Mr. President.  Thank you.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

21    you, Senator O'Mara.

22                 Senator Gallivan.

23                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Thank you, 

24    Mr. President.  Would the sponsor or appropriate 

25    member of the Majority yield?


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:  Senator 

 2    Gianaris.  

 3                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 4    it's my understanding these questions relate to 

 5    the health part of the budget, which will be 

 6    answered by Senator Rivera.

 7                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   That's exactly 

 8    what I was going to ask.  Thank you, 

 9    Mr. President.

10                 The first area I would like to ask 

11    about is the Medicaid global cap that we know was 

12    instituted a number of years ago to limit 

13    Medicaid growth to the 10-year rolling average of 

14    the medical component of the CPI, which is 

15    calculated at 3 percent right now.  

16                 The Governor in her budget proposed 

17    a different formula for the Medicaid global cap.  

18    The Senate one-house, though, rejects the 

19    extension of the Medicaid global cap -- of the 

20    Governor's proposed extension of the Medicaid 

21    global cap.

22                 Does the Senate one-house put forth 

23    an alternative proposal?

24                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

25    Mr. President -- 


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 2    Gallivan, are you asking the sponsor to yield?

 3                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   I thought I 

 4    asked that.  And yes, I do, Mr. President.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 6    Rivera, do you yield?

 7                 SENATOR RIVERA:   I yield.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Just for 

 9    the record, Senator Gallivan, that's all.  Thank 

10    you.  

11                 SENATOR RIVERA:   I yield.  

12                 And through you, Mr. President.  

13    It's a pleasure to see you, Senator Gallivan.  

14                 The quick answer to your question is 

15    we in the Majority believe -- and I have 

16    certainly been saying this over the last couple 

17    of years -- that the creation of the cap was 

18    an -- it was an artificial construct that served 

19    the prior administration more than -- it was more 

20    of a messaging tool than a budgetary one.  And we 

21    want to do away with it.  

22                 And so the current proposal that we 

23    have in front of us, the current resolution, gets 

24    rid of the Medicaid cap altogether.

25                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will 


 1    Senator Rivera -- Mr. President, would the 

 2    Senator continue to yield?  

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 4    sponsor yield?  

 5                 SENATOR RIVERA:   I do.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 7    Rivera yields.

 8                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   So if I 

 9    understand correctly, the current proposal gets 

10    rid of the Governor's proposed cap on Medicaid 

11    spending.  

12                 Is there an alternate proposal to 

13    ensure that there is some type of check on the 

14    spending in the Medicaid program?

15                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

16    Mr. President, I would say that it -- there never 

17    was such a control.  The global cap, as it was 

18    referred to by the prior administration, was not 

19    a real thing.  It was referred to as a real 

20    thing; it never really existed in statute.  It 

21    existed in the press releases and the press 

22    conferences of the Governor, but it did not 

23    actually -- it served as a tool so that they 

24    could actually put money where they wanted to and 

25    keep money from where they didn't want it.


 1                 And Mr. President, I'll actually go 

 2    a little further and I will just say a general 

 3    comment as far as the budget that we -- well, 

 4    I'll just say the one-house resolution that we 

 5    have in front of us is in reference to a budget 

 6    that was already a pretty good one.  

 7                 And the reason for that, 

 8    Mr. President, was that as opposed to spending, 

 9    as my colleagues will certainly continue to say, 

10    I believe that a lot of what's happening here is 

11    an investment.  It's an investment in a lot of 

12    areas that have seen disinvestment and austerity 

13    for way too long.  

14                 So as it relates to this, 

15    Mr. President, I would say that we are -- we 

16    believe very strongly, and this is why it's in 

17    our one-house budget here, that certainly the 

18    increase in Medicaid that the Governor approved 

19    -- that the Governor proposed in the budget is a 

20    correct amount, at least to start from, but that 

21    a cap is no longer necessary.  And so we excised 

22    it completely.

23                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will the Senator 

24    continue to yield.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 


 1    Rivera, do you yield?

 2                 SENATOR RIVERA:   I do.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator  

 4    Rivera yields.

 5                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Well, thank you 

 6    for the response, Senator Rivera.

 7                 So how does the Senate one-house, as 

 8    it relates to Medicaid spending, ensure 

 9    accountability in the spending to ensure that we 

10    limit fraud and waste and any abuse and that the 

11    spending that we are spending for Medicaid is 

12    indeed appropriate?

13                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

14    Mr. President, we have a -- the state, as I'm 

15    sure that you're aware, has an agency, the OMIG, 

16    which actually specifically deals with 

17    investigations of fraud and malfeasance in the 

18    Medicaid program.  And they have been fairly 

19    successful at times to find such things.  

20                 So we believe that that is -- that 

21    already exists, and we fund it -- I forget at 

22    what level exactly.  We might have actually 

23    accepted -- we accepted what the Governor 

24    proposed in the one-house -- in her budget 

25    proposal, because we believe it is important to 


 1    fund OMIG going forward.

 2                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   If I can move 

 3    on, Mr. President, and ask if the Senator would 

 4    continue -- would yield to a question about the 

 5    Healthcare Transformation Fund.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator  

 7    Rivera, do you yield?

 8                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Absolutely.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

10    sponsor yields.

11                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   So the budget -- 

12    the Executive Budget transferred a billion 

13    dollars from the General Fund to the Healthcare 

14    Transformation Account, but yet the Governor 

15    provided no details on planned disbursements.  

16    Which would mean that the Executive had 

17    unilateral authority to spend a billion dollars 

18    on unspecified programs.  

19                 The question is, how does this 

20    one-house budget allocate that billion dollars 

21    from the Healthcare Transformation Fund?

22                 SENATOR RIVERA:   One second, 

23    Mr. President.  (Pause.)

24                 Through you, Mr. President, it was 

25    actually excised from the one-house budget 


 1    proposal.

 2                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will the Senator 

 3    continue to yield.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 5    sponsor yield?

 6                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

 7    Mr. President.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 9    Senator yields.

10                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   We know that 

11    many of our hospitals across this state are 

12    distressed.  We have a number of different 

13    categories that historically the state has 

14    provided -- provided funding and support to 

15    hospitals.  

16                 Does the Senate one-house direct 

17    payments to hospitals struggling with financial 

18    losses that do not currently meet the definition 

19    of "distressed"?

20                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

21    Mr. President.  The -- one of the issues that has 

22    existed in prior years -- and one of the reasons, 

23    by the way, where I have to turn to this amazing 

24    group of folks who I will identify later, because 

25    they are certainly responsible for what's in 


 1    here -- is that there's a lot of these funds that 

 2    have very similar names, so I always have to 

 3    check exactly which ones it is that we're talking 

 4    about.

 5                 In this case what I would say is 

 6    that in past years there had been -- the actual 

 7    categories are kind of hard to define.  We 

 8    actually have an issue with defining distressed 

 9    hospitals.  We in this one-house budget proposal 

10    actually attempt to do that.  We attempt to have 

11    clear definitions of what distressed hospitals 

12    are because we recognize -- Mr. President, 

13    through you -- as my colleague says, that there 

14    are hospitals all across the state, not only 

15    downstate but across the entire state, that are 

16    in trouble.  

17                 And I would reiterate, 

18    Mr. President, that a lot of it has to do with 

19    the fact that over the last decade the past 

20    administration kind of led with austerity and 

21    there was more disinvestment than anything else.

22                 And so that -- I would say that 

23    this -- that what we do here is try to send 

24    resources to the hospitals that most need it, and 

25    we'll certainly work along with all of my 


 1    colleagues to make sure that we can identify 

 2    which institutions those are and make sure that  

 3    we can support them accordingly.

 4                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will the Senator 

 5    continue to yield.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 7    Rivera, do you yield?  Senator Rivera, do you 

 8    yield? 

 9                 SENATOR RIVERA:   I indeed will.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

11    Rivera yields.

12                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Is the Senator 

13    able to, at this point in time, share with us how 

14    the one-house can or will define "distressed" as 

15    it relates to hospitals?  

16                 (Pause.)

17                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

18    Mr. President.  And this, by the way, is why, 

19    again, you surround yourself with people that are 

20    smarter than you, because they obviously know it 

21    off the top of their head.  All good people right 

22    here.

23                 But through you, Mr. President, we 

24    actually define it in terms of the population 

25    that is served by that particular hospital, by a 


 1    certain percentage of Medicaid population.  And 

 2    the plan to actually -- as far as our budget, as 

 3    our one-house proposal states, the way that it 

 4    would be actually -- the billion dollars that we 

 5    actually allocated in our one-house would be 

 6    distributed, disbursed, based on this definition 

 7    of distressed hospitals based on Medicaid 

 8    population, but based on a plan to be approved by 

 9    the Speaker and the Majority Leader of the 

10    Senate.

11                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will the Senator 

12    continue to yield for a question.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

14    Rivera, do you yield?

15                 SENATOR RIVERA:   I will.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

17    Rivera yields.

18                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Along those 

19    lines -- and the Senator alluded to this, the 

20    various definitions that have been created over 

21    time -- we have sole community hospitals and 

22    critical access hospitals.  They've also been hit 

23    very hard by the pandemic.  

24                 How does your budget increase 

25    funding to these hospitals or help these 


 1    hospitals?

 2                 (Pause.)

 3                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

 4    Mr. President, we actually -- as I stated 

 5    earlier, the amount that we've allocated in the 

 6    one-house budget proposal is a billion for these 

 7    types of hospitals.  And it would -- depending on 

 8    the definition that we currently have in our 

 9    proposal, it would actually include all of the -- 

10    potentially include the institutions that you 

11    just mentioned.

12                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will the Senator 

13    continue to yield.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

15    Senator yield?

16                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, sir.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

18    sponsor yields.

19                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   So if I 

20    understand correctly, then, we had these 

21    different definitions in the past, and I'm asking 

22    based on the different definitions.  

23                 So now, as we move forward, a 

24    distressed hospital and a sole community hospital 

25    and a critical access hospital will all be 


 1    treated the same as far as being provided relief 

 2    with the billion dollars allocated towards this?

 3                 (Pause.)

 4                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

 5    Mr. President.  The answer is that they would not 

 6    be treated -- all the institutions will be 

 7    treated according to what their needs actually 

 8    are.  So they will all have access to the fund, 

 9    but certainly those institutions that are more in 

10    need are more likely to receive more funding.

11                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will the Senator 

12    continue to yield.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

14    Senator continue to yield?

15                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

16    Mr. President.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

18    Senator yields.

19                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   How does this 

20    one-house program that the Senator describes -- 

21    how will it actually determine which hospitals 

22    are in which need?  What parameters will be used 

23    to determine the need?  And then once that's 

24    done, how will the money be allocated?  

25                 (Pause.)


 1                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

 2    Mr. President.  The way that it will work is that 

 3    there will be -- we work along -- meaning we, the 

 4    Senate Majority, as well as the Speaker -- would 

 5    work along with the Department of Health, based 

 6    on the definition, as I've stated earlier, that 

 7    relates to the amount -- the percentage of 

 8    Medicaid population.  

 9                 And by the way, I should linger on 

10    this for a second.  It is clear that if 

11    someone -- that there is a Medicaid patient that 

12    goes to a particular healthcare institution, then 

13    that institution will get reimbursed for the 

14    services that are provided, depending on the 

15    payment modality.  But obviously Medicaid rates, 

16    as everybody knows, are exceedingly low.  So any 

17    institution that has a high percentage of 

18    Medicaid population will be an institution that 

19    is in distress.  

20                 I certainly can speak for 

21    St. Barnabas Hospital, which is in the middle of 

22    my district.  Over 95 percent of the folks that 

23    go there are Medicaid patients, and therefore 

24    this is an institution that is constantly in 

25    distress.


 1                 So as far -- so that is the -- as 

 2    far as the definition.  And as far as the 

 3    determination of how it will actually get to who 

 4    it will go to, based on the need, we will work -- 

 5    the Democratic Majority and the Speaker's office 

 6    will work along with the Department of Health to 

 7    determine where exactly this money needs to go.  

 8    And we again will -- it will correspond to the 

 9    need that is particular to each institution.

10                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will the Senator 

11    continue to yield, Mr. President.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

13    Senator continue to yield?  

14                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

15    Mr. President.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

17    Senator yields.

18                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   I have yet one 

19    more category.  Rural hospitals struggle for many 

20    of the same reasons, but also some additional 

21    reasons.  Where do rural hospitals fit as it 

22    relates to these other types of hospitals in need 

23    that we've discussed?

24                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

25    Mr. President, it actually -- regardless of where 


 1    the hospital is, certainly I've -- first of all, 

 2    I should tell you I certainly recognize -- I've 

 3    had the opportunity to visit a few rural 

 4    hospitals across the state.  I believe -- maybe 

 5    some of them have been in your district.  And 

 6    certainly I've learned a lot about the way that 

 7    these institutions struggle in different ways 

 8    than the ones that do in urban settings like the 

 9    ones that serve my community.

10                 So we will -- we were obviously 

11    saying if there is a high need, that we want to 

12    make sure that we give them resources.  And 

13    that's precisely what that 1 billion is there 

14    for, to make sure that it can be directed to 

15    institutions, whether they be rural, urban or 

16    suburban, that have high needs.

17                 (Laughter from outside the chamber.)

18                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Apparently that 

19    person didn't believe me.  No, I mean it, bro.

20                 (Laughter.)

21                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will the Senator 

22    continue to yield, Mr. President, for a question?  

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

24    Senator continue to yield?  

25                 SENATOR RIVERA:   I do, 


 1    Mr. President.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 3    Rivera yields.

 4                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   The Senator 

 5    mentioned Medicaid reimbursements that we all 

 6    know are very low.  For hospitals, my belief is 

 7    while in the past several years we had talked 

 8    about their rate -- reimbursement rate being at 

 9    67 cents on the dollar, now the various hospitals 

10    and their organizations represent the fact that 

11    the reimbursement rate is 61 percent {sic} on the 

12    dollar.  

13                 We know that the Executive's 

14    proposal and the one-house reinstated a 

15    1.5 percent cut from the prior 

16    administration and, if I'm not mistaken, added 1 

17    percent in the way of reimbursements.  That moves 

18    it up to 62 percent.  And it really raises the 

19    question about, you know, how is this 

20    sustainable, and how are our hospitals going to 

21    be able to survive?

22                 The question is does the one-house 

23    address the significant disparity in the funding 

24    as it relates to reimbursement versus cost?  And 

25    if not, what can we do as a body, going forward, 


 1    to help our hospitals so that they're getting 

 2    reimbursed for the services that's they're 

 3    providing all of our constituents?

 4                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

 5    Mr. President, this is a key question.  And it is 

 6    a key question that, as I -- something that I 

 7    stated earlier that I'll repeat, and I'll 

 8    reiterate as many times as necessary.  We have a 

 9    lot of catching up to do after 10 years of 

10    austerity across the state, not only as relates 

11    to hospitals in the Medicaid system, but that's 

12    the one that we're talking about today.  

13                 And what the Governor proposed, and 

14    what the one-house budget proposal does on top of 

15    what the Governor proposed, is a first step in 

16    the direction of actually solving that.  One of 

17    the things that we are -- that is currently being 

18    discussed relates to potentially special rates 

19    for particular hospitals that are high needs, to 

20    have enhanced Medicaid rates.  There's all sorts 

21    of conversations that are happening right now 

22    about the stability of these institutions in the 

23    long term.  And that's something, unfortunately, 

24    we can't fix overnight.  

25                 So I would say that the fact that we 


 1    went back, as you mentioned correctly -- that the 

 2    Governor's proposal actually brought up the cut 

 3    that had happened last year, it brought us back 

 4    to zero and then it went up 1 percent -- there 

 5    were conversations about whether we should accept 

 6    that, whether we should go for more.  We agreed 

 7    to accept the 1 percent increase.  

 8                 And there's a lot of other stuff 

 9    that we did, as I mentioned; some of the capital 

10    funding, some of the distressed hospital money 

11    that we talked about, et cetera.  All of these 

12    things are about trying to go back on what has 

13    been at least a decade of disinvestment and 

14    austerity for institutions that serve the most 

15    vulnerable across the state.

16                 So this is what we are seeing in 

17    this one-house proposal, and there's a whole host 

18    of other things that I hope that you will ask 

19    about or one of your colleagues will ask about, 

20    that we feel incredibly proud of and we think are 

21    first steps in actually getting us back to 

22    institutions that, again, serve the most 

23    vulnerable, that can actually be stable and don't 

24    have to come back to the state every couple of 

25    years for rescue.


 1                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Mr. President.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 3    Gallivan.

 4                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   I have, I think, 

 5    just one more question.  I'd like to ask many, 

 6    many more questions, but we are limited in time.  

 7    But I do have one more question if the Senator 

 8    would continue -- would yield for it.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

10    Rivera, do you continue to yield?

11                 SENATOR RIVERA:   I think I will 

12    yield once more, yes, sir.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

14    Senator thinks he will yield.  The sponsor 

15    yields.  

16                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   So the Senator 

17    has talked about, among other things -- but we 

18    focused a lot on these hospitals in need, 

19    distressed, old definition or new definition, 

20    community hospitals, rural hospitals, critical 

21    access hospitals.  And while it likely includes 

22    more than that, we focused on the billion dollars 

23    that's set aside, which will be welcomed by these 

24    hospitals.  I mean, no question about it.  

25                 All of us represent constituents 


 1    across the state that have been affected by this.  

 2    And it's very likely that not one of us has a 

 3    hospital in our district -- hasn't heard from the 

 4    hospitals on the problems that those hospitals 

 5    have.  And of course those districts -- or those 

 6    hospitals are located in most every district 

 7    across the state, those that are represented by a 

 8    member of the Majority or a member of the 

 9    Minority.

10                 And we had heard from the Senator 

11    that as we move forward with this billion 

12    dollars, that the plan now is that the Majority 

13    Leader, the Speaker of the Assembly will discuss 

14    this with the Governor and ultimately allocate 

15    that funding.  

16                 The question I have is given that 

17    members of the Majority -- the Minority, rather, 

18    represent hospitals, and there's a direct effect 

19    on their community, what role will the Minority 

20    play in allocating this spending over the course 

21    of the next fiscal year?  

22                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

23    Mr. President, I believe that -- this is 

24    obviously something that I absolutely recognize.  

25    I remember when I became a member of the Majority 


 1    and the chair of the Health Committee, it was 

 2    very clear to me that the job was actually to 

 3    govern for the entire state and to -- obviously, 

 4    as it relates to the healthcare system, we serve 

 5    every New Yorker, regardless of where they live, 

 6    what party they're from, ethnicity, you know, 

 7    immigration status, et cetera.  So we have to try 

 8    to make a system that serves all of them.

 9                 So what I can tell you is that the 

10    definition that we created we believe actually 

11    includes -- it includes category -- it includes a 

12    set of criteria that can be implemented across 

13    the state regardless of where that hospital is.  

14                 And what you have -- through you, 

15    Mr. President -- that I give a commitment to you 

16    and to my colleagues that certainly not only 

17    myself but most importantly, our Majority Leader, 

18    cares deeply about the entire state.  And that 

19    the process, which will be transparent and will 

20    rely on the definitions that we create -- and 

21    ultimately I should say, obviously, this is a 

22    one-house budget proposal.  Right?  We have not 

23    made it to the final, final budget.  

24                 But we will fight to include this or 

25    as much of it as possible -- this is the process, 


 1    right -- in the final budget, because we want to 

 2    make sure that we actually create a set of 

 3    criteria which can include any hospital or any 

 4    entity across the state that has these needs.  

 5    And then we are committed to make sure that we 

 6    have a transparent process, to make sure that the 

 7    resources go to where they are needed.

 8                 So I believe that we -- you know, I 

 9    believe that through the definition that we have 

10    created and the process that we are putting 

11    forward, that we'll be able to do that, again, in 

12    a transparent manner.  We will make sure that any 

13    institution that has the needs across the state, 

14    regardless of where it is, receives the funding.

15                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:   I'd like to 

16    thank -- Mr. President, I'd like to thank the 

17    Senator for responding to the questions.  

18                 I will -- that's all that I have for 

19    now.  I will yield my time to my colleagues and 

20    ultimately speak later in explaining my vote.

21                 Thank you.  

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

23    you, Senator Gallivan.

24                 Senator Oberacker.

25                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Thank you, 


 1    Mr. President.

 2                 I plan on asking just a couple of 

 3    quick questions.  The first subject would be the 

 4    expansion of the Essential Plan that covers the 

 5    undocumented populations.  This is in --

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 7    Oberacker, are you asking the sponsor to yield?  

 8                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   -- the health 

 9    area of the budget.  I'm sorry, yes.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   So in the 

11    health area, are you asking the sponsor to yield?

12                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   I'm asking if 

13    the sponsor would yield.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

15    Rivera, do you yield?

16                 SENATOR RIVERA:   And the sponsor 

17    yields, yes.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

19    sponsor yields. 

20                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Thank you.  

21    It's still my first time here, so give me a -- 

22    yes, so thank you.

23                 So with that, the proposal provides 

24    coverage on the Essential Plan for undocumented 

25    individuals, those ineligible for the federal 


 1    financial participation in the basic health 

 2    program on the basis of immigration status.  This 

 3    is with a household income below 250 percent of 

 4    the federal poverty line.

 5                 The Senate one-house bill expands 

 6    the Essential Plan to undocumented immigrants 

 7    and, under the current law, permanently residing 

 8    under color of law populations.  My question, if 

 9    the Senator would yield --

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

11    sponsor yields.

12                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Thank you.

13                 Question one is if we pass this 

14    proposal, why would the federal government ever 

15    agree to cover the expansion and federal matching 

16    funds for the Essential Plan for -- the Essential 

17    Plan, Child Health Plus and Medicaid if we are 

18    showing that we are willing to cover the 

19    population anyway without their participation?

20                 (Pause.)

21                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

22    Mr. President.  I'm glad, Mr. President, that 

23    this is something that is being brought up.  

24                 And first -- and actually, just for 

25    the record, Mr. President, I want to thank 


 1    Senator Oberacker, who referred to these folks as 

 2    undocumented people, undocumented persons.  Some 

 3    of my colleagues sometimes use other terminology 

 4    that is not human.  So I'm very glad that you did 

 5    that, sir.

 6                 Now, the answer to the question is 

 7    this would be an extension of the Essential Plan 

 8    to an undocumented population, right.  These are 

 9    folks -- this would be only state money, so there 

10    would be no federal match.  It is currently -- 

11    right, this is not funded at the federal level.  

12    If there are services that are provided to 

13    undocumented people, it is not funded through 

14    federal money.  

15                 But we believe, Mr. President, that 

16    it is absolutely essential to do.  And I'll give 

17    you a couple of reasons.  Number one, as I 

18    mentioned earlier, these undocumented people are 

19    still people.  The fact is that they will get 

20    sick.  The fact is, Mr. President, they are 

21    getting sick.  And as opposed to someone else who 

22    might have access to primary care, they have to 

23    wait until they have to go to the emergency room.  

24    And maybe they just ignore that pain that has 

25    been in their stomach for the last four or five 


 1    days, they'll ignore it.  If it goes away, they 

 2    won't actually go to the emergency room because 

 3    they figure it's -- it's putting myself at risk, 

 4    it is potentially incurring costs, et cetera, 

 5    et cetera.  

 6                 So the fact is that there's 

 7    emergency Medicaid money that is already being 

 8    used, state money that is being spent on the care 

 9    of these individuals.  

10                 By extending the Essential Plan to 

11    these folks, we will actually -- they will 

12    actually have primary care, which will allow them 

13    to be able to have the type of coverage, 

14    Mr. President, that many of us take for granted.  

15    And among other things, secure for themselves 

16    primary care, potentially, which means that they 

17    will be able to identify conditions that are 

18    chronic earlier.  They will just be healthier.  

19    And this will not only save us money, 

20    Mr. President, but also make lives better for 

21    those individuals, their families and the 

22    communities that they're in.

23                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Through you, 

24    Mr. President, would the Senator continue to 

25    yield.  


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 2    sponsor yield?

 3                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, I will.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 5    sponsor yields.  

 6                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Thank you.

 7                 So what is the plan should the 

 8    federal government ever eliminate funding for the 

 9    Essential Plan because of this expansion?

10                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

11    Mr. President.  I would like the Senator to 

12    clarify his question, because I am unaware of a 

13    situation in which the federal government has 

14    decided to -- because I believe, if I understand 

15    correctly, that what he is positing is that if 

16    there is an expansion of something that is 

17    strictly -- for which strictly state funds are 

18    used, that the federal government might see this 

19    as some sort of insult and therefore say, We're 

20    not going to cover the federal share of folks who 

21    are eligible for federal funds.  

22                 I don't understand the question, 

23    Mr. President, if he could clarify.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

25    Senator, having yielded, is asking you to 


 1    rephrase your question, Senator Oberacker.  

 2                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Sure.  I'd be 

 3    more than happy to.  Thank you.

 4                 So as a businessman, the metrics 

 5    that I am -- as I understand them, if New York 

 6    moves to cover all of the undocumented under the 

 7    Essential Plan, the federal government has no 

 8    reason to participate, maintain and expand 

 9    federal funding for other health insurance 

10    programs because we, as the state, are showing 

11    that we are willing to cover the population 

12    anyway with state-only funding.

13                 So the question becomes why would -- 

14    what is the -- through you, Mr. President, why 

15    would the federal government then ever continue 

16    if we are showing as a state that we're willing 

17    to fund these individuals?

18                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Mr. President, I 

19    feel that I'm still a little confused by the 

20    question, but I'll try to answer it.

21                 This is a population that the 

22    federal government has already told us they will 

23    not cover.  As a matter of fact, another part of 

24    our one-house budget proposal relates to the 

25    expansion of Medicaid for birthing people for up 


 1    to a year after they have given birth.  Which in 

 2    our version -- not in the Governor's version, but 

 3    in our version -- includes undocumented folks.  

 4    And yet again, this is actually something that 

 5    we're using state funds for.

 6                 So I'm not sure that I understand 

 7    the question.  If the federal government is not 

 8    going to give us federal share for a particular 

 9    population, they're just not going to give us 

10    federal share for a particular population.

11                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   I'll move on, 

12    if that's okay.  I believe I've got enough -- and 

13    we can speak offline, I think, more appropriately 

14    than here today.  So thank you for that answer, 

15    Senator.

16                 Through you, Mr. President, would 

17    the Senator continue to yield.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

19    sponsor continue to yield?  

20                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Absolutely.  

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

22    sponsor yields.

23                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Okay.  The 

24    sponsor's memo for the original legislation 

25    stated that the budget is neutral.  How -- if you 


 1    can help expand upon that, how is that possible?

 2                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

 3    Mr. President, if the sponsor could produce 

 4    this -- I'm sorry, not the sponsor, apologies.  

 5    If Senator Oberacker could produce the memo that 

 6    he's referring to, because I'm pretty sure that 

 7    in none of our -- we know that it is not 

 8    budget-neutral.  As a matter of fact it is 

 9    absolutely budget not neutral, I guess is the way 

10    to say it.  

11                 It obviously is an expenditure, but 

12    I will once again say that as opposed to an 

13    expenditure it's actually an investment.  As 

14    we're saying, we are expanding the Essential Plan 

15    to a population that currently has no access to 

16    health insurance unless they can pay for it 

17    out-of-pocket.  Right?  Unless they are wealthy, 

18    in which case they can pay for whatever they 

19    want.

20                 But if we're talking about folks who 

21    are within 250 percent of the federal poverty 

22    level, we are talking about a population that 

23    obviously is in need of some level of care.  

24    Because as I stated earlier, they are people, 

25    they will get sick.


 1                 So the memo I am sure would show 

 2    that.  As a matter of fact -- see, this is again 

 3    why you surround yourself with good, smart 

 4    people.  And down at the bottom, "Fiscal 

 5    Implications," you might be referring to it -- if 

 6    you're referring to a memo that is not the 

 7    current one, which I'm looking at, then if you 

 8    would show it.  But the memo that is currently 

 9    for Bill S1572, "Fiscal Implications:  The cost 

10    to the state to accomplish this goal is estimated 

11    to be approximately $345 million.  The state will 

12    be saving close to the same amount in emergency 

13    Medicaid spending.  Eligible individuals will be 

14    paying small premium amounts to contribute to 

15    their coverage."  Thank you so much.

16                 So in other words, the memo that we 

17    currently have clearly establishes a fiscal -- so 

18    I'm not sure which one -- through you, 

19    Mr. President -- you're referring to .

20                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Thank you for 

21    the clarification on that, Senator.  I will take 

22    that with me.

23                 Would the -- through you, 

24    Mr. President, would the Senator continue to 

25    yield.


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 2    Rivera, do you yield?  

 3                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Indeed.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 5    Senator yields.

 6                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   So as a 

 7    follow-up, are there estimates of how much this 

 8    will cost in the future moving forward?  

 9                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

10    Mr. President.  The amount that we have in our 

11    one-house budget proposal -- the amount that we 

12    put in in the one-house budget proposal is an 

13    amount of 345 million, which accounts -- which 

14    amounts to what we believe will be about 

15    46 percent of the total number of folks -- 

16    46,000, apologies.  

17                 There are a total, Mr. President -- 

18    right now, according to our analysis or according 

19    to the analysis of folks who are supporting this 

20    piece of legislation, there are a total of 

21    154,000 potential eligible people.  In other 

22    words, folks that fit within the criteria, that 

23    don't have a legal immigration status and fit 

24    within the criteria as far as federal poverty 

25    level.


 1                 Of those -- as we know, no program 

 2    has 100 percent use.  Even if someone is 

 3    eligible, the idea that 100 percent of the folks 

 4    who are eligible for any program -- that has 

 5    never happened.

 6                 And according to our best estimates, 

 7    we're saying -- we're thinking that about 46,000 

 8    people of those 154,000 will avail themselves of 

 9    this program, which comes to a cost of 

10    345 million.

11                 But I'll say again, this is almost 

12    as much as we will be saving because we are not 

13    going to be using it on emergency Medicaid 

14    anymore.

15                 And I would remind everyone that 

16    providing folks primary care and making sure that 

17    they use it is actually a great way to save money 

18    in the long term.  Because if somebody has 

19    primary care -- let's say somebody has diabetes, 

20    has asthma, has any other types -- has cancer.  

21    Any of these types of ailments, Mr. President, 

22    can be identified if someone has access to 

23    primary care, as opposed to having to rely on 

24    emergency care.

25                 So that means that not only their 


 1    lives will be better, but that we will save money 

 2    because, as opposed to having somebody having to 

 3    deal with, let's say, God forbid, an amputation, 

 4    because of diabetes that has not been 

 5    diagnosed -- being able to diagnose it, take care 

 6    of it on a regular basis means that those 

 7    folks -- not only their lives will be better, but 

 8    we will save money in the system overall.  

 9                 So even though I couldn't give you, 

10    at this particular moment, outside of the 

11    345 million that has been allocated in our 

12    one-house proposal, I could certainly -- we could 

13    certainly do an outyear type of analysis and 

14    provide it to you, sir.

15                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Thank you, 

16    Senator.

17                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Absolutely.

18                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Through you, 

19    Mr. President, would the Senator continue to 

20    yield.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

22    sponsor continue to yield?

23                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Sí.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

25    sponsor continues to yield.  


 1                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Changing up a 

 2    little bit now to an area that of course is near 

 3    and dear to my heart, EMS funding.

 4                 So some of the background on Part F 

 5    of the HMH bill proposes modernization to 

 6    emergency medical services, including training 

 7    programs.  However, rural communities, of which I 

 8    represent a large portion of, are still suffering 

 9    from a shortage of EMS workers.  

10                 So through you, Mr. President, does 

11    this budget in any way help increase the number 

12    of rural EMS?

13                 (Pause.)

14                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

15    Mr. President, we believe that -- first of all, 

16    I'll refer to my earlier comments as far as 

17    10 years of disinvestment and austerity means 

18    that we can't flip the boat around in just one 

19    year.  We're certainly going to try.

20                 And what we did in our one-house 

21    budget proposal is that as relates to emergency 

22    medical services, not only did we add a million 

23    to what the Governor had allocated for training 

24    purposes, but we also accepted some of the 

25    changes that we believe will indeed not only 


 1    provide stability but potentially provide us -- 

 2    give us an opportunity to have more emergency 

 3    medical technicians across the state.

 4                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Thank you, 

 5    Senator.

 6                 Through you, Mr. President, would 

 7    the Senator continue to yield.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 9    sponsor yield?

10                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, sir.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

12    sponsor yields.  

13                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Thank you.

14                 Is there any consideration into 

15    making EMS an essential service?  And if so, why 

16    isn't it in the -- proposed in this budget?

17                 (Pause.)

18                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

19    Mr. President.  One of the things that we are 

20    certainly doing is we are accepting a 

21    redefinition of emergency medical services that 

22    is in Part F -- hold on, Section 7.  Again, did 

23    you hear that?  Section 7.  I'm telling you, man, 

24    it's good to have these folks here -- which has 

25    not been done in over a decade.  


 1                 And we believe that this actually 

 2    will go a long way towards kind of centering this 

 3    in the way that it is essential in different 

 4    parts of the state, certainly like in rural 

 5    communities.

 6                 In subdivision 1 of Section 3001 of 

 7    the Public Health Law, as mentioned in 

 8    Chapter 804 of the Laws of 1992 -- which is what 

 9    Section 7 is -- emergency medical service means 

10    care of a person to and from and between a 

11    person's home, scene of injury, et cetera, 

12    et cetera.  And it specifically includes 

13    "community paramedicine care."  

14                 So we believe that this definition, 

15    which again has not been changed in quite a 

16    while, goes a long way towards doing just what 

17    you feel needs to be done in that regard.

18                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Thank you.  

19                 Through you, Mr. President, would 

20    the Senator continue to yield.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

22    Senator continue to yield?

23                 SENATOR RIVERA:   I continue to 

24    yield.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 


 1    Senator yields.

 2                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Senator, thank 

 3    you so much for that.  I am encouraged to hear 

 4    you say that.  Anything since 1992 I think should 

 5    be looked at more readily and under a microscope.  

 6    So again, thank you.

 7                 Through you, Mr. President, does 

 8    this budget increase Medicaid rates for EMS 

 9    service?  And do you believe that the Medicaid 

10    transportation rates for ambulance services are 

11    adequate for upstate New York and rural regions?

12                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

13    Mr. President, the across-the-board -- the uncut, 

14    if -- or the restoration.  That is a technical 

15    term.  "Uncut" is not a word.  

16                 The restoration -- the restoration 

17    of these funds is across the board, which 

18    includes everything related to Medicaid, 

19    including transportation.  And then we added 

20    1 percent on top of that -- in other words, we 

21    accepted the Governor's proposal to do 1 percent 

22    above that, and that is across the board.

23                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Mr. President, 

24    I would like to thank -- I'm finished with my 

25    questions.  I would like to thank Senator Rivera 


 1    for his detailed questions {sic}, and I too will 

 2    reserve my speaking on my vote at a later time.  

 3                 I would like to now take my time and 

 4    extend that out to our next -- who do we have 

 5    coming up here?

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 7    Gianaris -- thank you.  Thank you, Senator 

 8    Oberacker.  

 9                 Senator Gianaris.

10                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you.  

11    Mr. President, just for planning purposes, we 

12    do -- I want to notify members we do intend to 

13    honor the agreed-upon two-hour limit on the 

14    debate on this resolution.  

15                 There are eight additional members 

16    who want to debate this bill, and less than a 

17    half-hour till 4:12, which is the two-hour limit.  

18    We've been through three members, so if you 

19    figure out the math you're averaging a half-hour 

20    per member, and you have eight more members, 

21    which is not going to make it.  

22                 So please act accordingly.  We don't 

23    want to cut people off, but if we reach the 

24    limit, we will.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 


 1    you, Senator Gianaris.  

 2                 Senator Palumbo.

 3                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Mr. President, 

 4    30 seconds --

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 6    Rivera, you can explain your --

 7                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Thirty seconds.  

 8                 Jorge Rivera, Jamie Salm, Donavan 

 9    Borington, Carolyn Sheridan, Jonathan Lang, 

10    Chris Higgins, Lekeya Martin, Anissa Martinez, 

11    Alexandrea Nuwer, and Tony Kergaravat.  Those are 

12    the folks that are smarter than me that did this.  

13                 Thank you, Mr. President.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank you 

15    for the recognition of our staff, Senator Rivera.

16                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   (Inaudible) -- 

17    Mr. President, application for a credit for 

18    Senator Gianaris and Senator Rivera's time?

19                 (Laughter.)

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

21    Palumbo with a five-second credit.

22                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Would the sponsor 

23    or a colleague yield for some questions on public 

24    protection, please.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 


 1    Krueger will be yielding.  Senator Krueger, do 

 2    you -- Senator Krueger is in the position.  Do 

 3    you yield, Senator Krueger?  

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I do yield.  

 5    Thank you, Mr. President.  

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 7    Krueger yields.

 8                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

 9    Senator Krueger.  And I'll move as quickly as I 

10    can.  

11                 Does this Senate one-house include 

12    any provisions or amendments or changes to the 

13    bail reform statute?

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   No.  

15                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Will you yield 

16    for another question?  

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

19    Senator yields.

20                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Senator, does 

21    this one-house contain any provisions that would 

22    allow judicial discretion with respect to bail 

23    reform?

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   No.  This is a 

25    budget document, so we didn't do policy issues 


 1    here.

 2                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Certainly.  Would 

 3    you yield for another question?  

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 5    sponsor yield? 

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 8    sponsor yields.

 9                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Well, I 

10    appreciate that, Senator Krueger, but I'm now 

11    going to ask you about the policy that's in this 

12    one-house bill, if you don't mind.  Okay?  

13    Because we do that quite often here.  

14                 And with respect to the Clean Slate 

15    section in Public Protection -- I believe it's 

16    Part A and AA -- there were some changes made 

17    where -- and I'll just read the section quickly:  

18    "The Senate modifies the Executive proposal to 

19    seal criminal records three years after the 

20    expiration of the maximum sentence for 

21    misdemeanors and seven years after ... felonies. 

22    The Senate advances language that would  

23    immediately seal records three years after the 

24    release from custody" on misdemeanors and seven 

25    years on felonies.


 1                 So the clock now starts, based upon 

 2    this one-house proposal, upon someone's release 

 3    from custody.  And maybe an example would help.  

 4    Someone's sentenced to five to 15 years, for 

 5    example, on a manslaughter second degree.  The 

 6    clock, under the Governor's proposal, would start 

 7    at 15 when they're released from parole.  

 8                 This bill -- and please correct me 

 9    if I'm wrong -- this proposal would have the 

10    clock start at five years in that example.  Is 

11    that accurate?

12                 (Pause.)

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I'm going to try 

14    to get this correct.  Under the proposal we have 

15    in our one-house, the sealing can begin after 

16    they leave prison, but they are not going to be 

17    completely sealed until the 15-year mark.

18                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Okay.  Would you 

19    yield for another question?

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:  Does the 

22    sponsor yield?

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I do.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

25    sponsor yields.


 1                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Okay, thank you, 

 2    Senator.  And that just -- that clarification was 

 3    important, I believe, because in the Executive 

 4    Budget, since it didn't start until you're 

 5    released from probation or parole, this would 

 6    now -- it made that somewhat ambiguous because it 

 7    would -- since it starts, it's just tolled until 

 8    the end of their release from supervision, is 

 9    that accurate?

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Sealing cannot 

11    occur when a person is on probation, parole, or 

12    community supervision.  So it does not get 

13    completed until any and all of those are 

14    completed.

15                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Got it.  Thank 

16    you for clarifying that.  

17                 Would you yield for another 

18    question?  

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

20    sponsor yield?

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Certainly.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

23    sponsor yields.

24                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Is this going to 

25    apply retroactively to current convictions?  


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 2                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you.  Would 

 3    you yield for another question?  

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 6    sponsor yield?  Does the sponsor yield?

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 9    sponsor yields.

10                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Can an individual 

11    take advantage of this sealing provision more 

12    than once on multiple convictions?  So for 

13    example, as we've seen within a lot of the news 

14    stories recently, some people have 20, 30, 40 

15    criminal convictions.  If they're outside of 

16    seven years, are all of those sealed?  

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   There's no cap on 

18    the number of convictions, so there's no cap on 

19    this.  Although it sounds like we wouldn't get 

20    around to sealing anything until hundreds of 

21    years later, does it?

22                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Well, would you 

23    yield for another question?

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, of course.  

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 


 1    Senator yields.

 2                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

 3    Senator.  So by way of follow-up, is there a 

 4    cumulative count that it's seven years for each 

 5    charge?  Or is it just seven years from the most 

 6    recent case?  

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So it's seven 

 8    years from the most recent felony conviction.  So 

 9    a new conviction puts you back in square one.

10                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Okay, thank you.  

11    Would you yield for another question?  

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

13    sponsor yield?

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

16    sponsor yields.

17                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Okay, thank you, 

18    Senator.  So it would be just for newer ones, 

19    more recent ones, but all the old ones would be 

20    wrapped up and sealed, just so I'm clear, 

21    correct?

22                 (Pause.)

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   You'd need to 

24    have no felony convictions in seven years.  So 

25    it's not like they start the count for sealing 


 1    one, but then you get another felony but you 

 2    still get to get sealing on the earlier.  That 

 3    doesn't work that way.

 4                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   I understand 

 5    that.

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So -- okay.  

 7                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

 8    Senator.  And would you yield for another 

 9    question, just one more on --

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

11    sponsor yield?

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I do, 

13    Mr. President.  

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

15    sponsor yields.

16                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you.  And I 

17    guess just to clarify, that would be -- it 

18    wouldn't apply to old ones, only new ones is what 

19    I understand it to be, and I think that's what 

20    you just explained.

21                 My next question is regarding the 

22    unlawful discriminatory practice section.  That 

23    Part AA would make it an unlawful discriminatory 

24    practice for any person, agency, bureau, 

25    corporation or association to inquire about 


 1    whether any of form of application or otherwise 

 2    were to act upon adversely to the individual 

 3    involved in a conviction which is sealed.  

 4                 So this prohibits anyone -- and my 

 5    question to you is any one agency, does this also 

 6    apply to schools, does it apply to law 

 7    enforcement?  Because I believe the Executive 

 8    Budget at least carved out law enforcement.  

 9                 But school districts, I know under 

10    the current law you can ask if someone's been 

11    arrested in very limited circumstances like for 

12    physicians, for lawyers, we're asked, for certain 

13    law enforcement positions.  

14                 So does this eliminate that 

15    entirely?  Can you clarify that for me, please?

16                 (Pause.)

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   If the job you're 

18    applying for -- let's say as a teacher -- 

19    requires a background check, the background check 

20    will show the record.  But if you're not applying 

21    for a job that does require background checks, 

22    then your record is sealed for those types of 

23    jobs.

24                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Will you yield 

25    for one more question.


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator  

 2    Krueger, do you yield for another question?  

 3                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Absolutely.  

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 5    Senator yields.

 6                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Senator Krueger, 

 7    in that situation, then, if someone's applying to 

 8    be a bus driver for a school district and all 

 9    their convictions are sealed, are you saying the 

10    school would have access to those?  Say, for 

11    example, for DWI convictions?

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So a bus driving 

13    job has review through the DMV system, and the 

14    DMV system would continue to show these 

15    convictions.

16                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Okay, do you 

17    yield for one more question?  I think --

18                 (Overtalk.)

19                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   -- I understand 

20    that.

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   She's very 

22    believable.

23                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Right.  Right.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

25    Krueger, do you yield for another question?


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I do.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 3    Senator yields.

 4                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   So without 

 5    belaboring that point, so that if it's not found 

 6    through the DMV system, then ultimately that's 

 7    something that you would not be entitled to in 

 8    the event you're looking for someone as a driver; 

 9    correct?

10                 (Pause.)

11                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   School bus 

12    drivers require a fingerprint check as well, so 

13    they would still have access to those records in 

14    addition to what the DMV system collects.

15                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Good to know.  

16    I'm going to go to another section, if I can ask 

17    you one more question.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Are you 

19    asking the sponsor to yield, Senator Palumbo?

20                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Yes, I am, 

21    Mr. President.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

23    sponsor yield?

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 


 1    sponsor yields.

 2                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   I have here in 

 3    the Governor's budget, which I guess was 

 4    otherwise adopted, based on the language of the 

 5    one-house, "In any civil action an official 

 6    record of a conviction that has been sealed, 

 7    pursuant to this section, may not be introduced 

 8    as evidence of negligence against any person or 

 9    entity that provided employment, contract labor 

10    or services, volunteer work," et cetera.  

11                 With respect to that section, so in 

12    the event someone hires someone who is, for 

13    example, abusive to children or otherwise has 

14    sealed criminal convictions, and then ultimately 

15    they do it again to an employee, in a negligent 

16    hiring case you are not allowed to admit the 

17    evidence of the prior conviction that the 

18    employer disregarded.  And for example, say it 

19    even came through -- by way of a newspaper story.  

20    That's inadmissible as a result of this language.  

21                 Can you clarify that or tell me if 

22    I'm wrong?

23                 (Pause.)

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I'll try to get 

25    this one right.  The employer could not be 


 1    found -- or charged in a civil case because if 

 2    they went looking for records that were not 

 3    available to them, they did not know anything 

 4    about this employee.  Hence, they don't have a 

 5    liability.

 6                 But if the employee is brought up in 

 7    a civil case, then those records are available to 

 8    whoever is bringing the case, and it can be used 

 9    against them if they lied about anything, and for 

10    the actions that they took.

11                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

12    Senator.  We're short on time, so I'm going to 

13    leave some time for my colleagues.  I have no 

14    further questions.  Thank you for answering.

15                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you very 

16    much.  

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

18    Borrello.

19                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, I 

20    have a question on mental health.  Should I -- 

21    will the sponsor yield?

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

23    Senator yield for a question on mental health?

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I certainly will.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 


 1    Krueger yields.

 2                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you, 

 3    Senator Krueger.

 4                 I stood here a year ago when we were 

 5    discussing this chamber watering down -- 

 6    strengthening Kendra's Law in last year's budget.  

 7    And as you may know, Kendra Webdale was a friend 

 8    of mine.  She grew up in the little town of 

 9    Fredonia where I grew up.  And it rocked our 

10    community when she was pushed in front of that 

11    subway train.  

12                 And I said on the floor "I hope this 

13    never happens again."  And tragically, we stand 

14    here a year later and we have Michelle Go who 

15    died in the exact manner, with a person who 

16    should not have been out on the streets.  And 

17    we've seen an increase in mental health violence 

18    here in New York State in this past year.

19                 Very tragically, we're standing here 

20    again.  

21                 And I'm looking at this one-house 

22    budget, and we were going to renew in the 

23    Governor's budget Kendra's Law for five years, 

24    and the one-house budget, the Senate one-house, 

25    only renews it for one year.  The Assembly is 


 1    keeping it at five years.  Why will we only renew 

 2    it for one year?

 3                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you for the 

 4    question.  I think we're keeping it for one year 

 5    because we recognize it's not a perfect law and 

 6    that we need to do more things.  And so we didn't 

 7    want to do a five-year extension and just say 

 8    we're done for five years.  Because we, like you, 

 9    believe we need to be doing more.  

10                 What we did learn in researching 

11    Kendra's Law is it is very rarely used in a 

12    situation as the example you gave recently from 

13    New York City and some of the many other tragic 

14    violent cases involving mentally ill homeless 

15    people.  In fact, Kendra's Law is 

16    disproportionately used by family members who go 

17    to court to get an AOT -- is it AOT?  Thank 

18    you -- and not used at all when it comes to the 

19    issues of homeless people without any connections 

20    with their families or with any kinds of 

21    community institutions.  

22                 So we really do believe that we not 

23    only need to continue the protections that we 

24    already have in Kendra's Law, but that they're 

25    not adequate and we need to figure out some 


 1    changes in our laws specifically when it comes to 

 2    mentally ill people who have -- again, I need to 

 3    say for the record, Mr. President, I do not 

 4    believe that most mentally ill people are ever 

 5    going to be violent.  My conference does not 

 6    believe that most mentally ill people are ever 

 7    going to be violent.  

 8                 We're talking about a subuniverse of 

 9    people who, particularly perhaps when they are 

10    not on meds that they need because they have no 

11    services being offered to them or no assistance, 

12    no healthcare -- that these are the population we 

13    need to actually be coming up with better and 

14    more effective models.  And those are not putting 

15    them in jail, they are not throwing them in an 

16    emergency room for 24 hours and releasing them.  

17    This is talking about getting them actual 

18    psychiatric services and care with residential 

19    facilities.  Because again, we're talking about 

20    disproportionately homeless and mentally ill.  

21                 So there are all kinds of program 

22    models.  We don't believe Kendra's Law addresses 

23    the issues we're seeing in New York City right 

24    now and, I am told, in several other places in 

25    the state.  So we don't want anything to sunset, 


 1    we just want to focus more on it rather than 

 2    doing a five-year extension and thinking we took 

 3    care of everything, because that would not take 

 4    care of everything.

 5                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

 6    will the sponsor continue to yield?

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 8    sponsor yield?

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator  

11    Krueger yields.

12                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   I appreciate 

13    that answer.  Unfortunately, New York State has 

14    summarily shut down institutions that could 

15    actually help people, and now our streets have 

16    become mental institutions.  

17                 And while it's a small percentage of 

18    people, keep in mind, crime in general is a small 

19    percentage of the population, but it still rocks 

20    our communities.  And so I don't know that that's 

21    necessarily the right answer.  

22                 But you brought up AOTs.  You know, 

23    we're trying to do things to strengthen our 

24    ability to ensure that people that have mental 

25    health crises can be held.  Yet we are taking out 


 1    the ability for a physician to actually testify 

 2    at an AOT hearing to ensure that those people are 

 3    kept.  So why would we do that?

 4                 (Pause.)

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   We aren't 

 6    allowing Zoom testimony, is my understanding.  

 7                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Yes, that's 

 8    correct.  We've allowed it here for the last two 

 9    years, but now we can't do it?

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Well, I think 

11    there's a concern about a -- I'm sorry, through 

12    you, Mr. President, I think there's some concern 

13    about psychiatric evaluation when you've not 

14    actually met or dealt with the person.

15                 But I just want to clarify the first 

16    points you made.  We are putting in $220 million 

17    more for psychiatric beds and supportive housing 

18    beds -- 20 million?  I'm sorry.  Let's try 

19    20 million for 200 psychiatric beds.  Which is 

20    not 220 million, which is the number I would 

21    prefer personally.  

22                 And there's a commitment by the 

23    state to revisit reopening psychiatric beds that 

24    they have closed over the last number of years.  

25                 You know, I don't think you and I 


 1    are very apart on this issue at all.  In my city 

 2    we believe we have 1,000 fewer residential beds 

 3    for people with psychiatric illness now than 

 4    eight years ago.  And that -- so you wonder why 

 5    are there so many people on the streets with 

 6    nowhere to go, suffering so painfully and putting 

 7    others at risk?  Because we took away the places 

 8    they used to be able to go.  

 9                 So we need to reinvest in 

10    psychiatric beds and to have various options for 

11    people who are in different places and have 

12    different needs.

13                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

14    will the sponsor continue to yield.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

16    sponsor yield?

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

19    sponsor yields.  

20                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Senator Krueger, 

21    you're right, we aren't far apart on this.  But, 

22    you know, it's the actions that I'm concerned 

23    about.  Twenty million dollars to create 

24    200 beds -- I lost 20 in my community alone just 

25    in the last two years.  So I think it's woefully 


 1    inadequate.  

 2                 So why are we not strengthening 

 3    that?  And in fact, why aren't we using 

 4    Senator Savino's bill, 8508, as a model to do 

 5    exactly that, to invest in and strengthen our 

 6    mental health laws?

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   She's just put in 

 8    her new bill, and she's circulating it.  And we 

 9    still have time to explore that before the end of 

10    session.  Thank you, Senator Savino.  

11                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, I 

12    will yield the rest of my time.  

13                 Thank you, Senator Krueger.

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.  

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

16    you, Senator Borrello.

17                 Senator Rath.

18                 SENATOR RATH:   Through you, 

19    Mr. President, will the sponsor yield for some 

20    questions on elections?  

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

22    sponsor yield for questions on elections?  

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Sorry.  Sorry, 

24    Mr. President.  Of course.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 


 1    Senator yields.  

 2                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you.  I will 

 3    be brief, and I'll try to be seated.

 4                 This budget allocates an additional 

 5    $10 million for BOE assistance, the one-house 

 6    proposal.  Is all of this intended to aid those 

 7    offices who are implementing early voting 

 8    requirements across New York State?

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   One moment as our 

10    voter person shows up.  

11                 (Pause; off the record.)

12                 SENATOR RATH:   Through you, 

13    Mr. President, time out.  

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   We'll bring in 

15    the big guns for you, don't worry.

16                 Did I hear you correctly, 

17    $10 million specifically for --

18                 SENATOR RATH:   (Inaudible.)

19                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   And your ask is 

20    for what it's being used for?  

21                 SENATOR RATH:   Whether it is being 

22    used for early voting requirements.

23                 (Pause.)

24                 SENATOR RATH:   Mr. President, we're 

25    still on the clock?


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 2    second charge, time out.  

 3                 (Laughter.)

 4                 SENATOR RATH:   Can we go to the 

 5    booth for that one?  

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   You win the prize 

 7    for how many staff can we find to help me.  

 8                 And the answer is no, it's for 

 9    whatever the local boards use to wish it for.  It 

10    might be early voting, it might be other things.

11                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you.  

12                 Mr. President, would the sponsor 

13    continue to yield?  And you can restart the 

14    clock.

15                 (Laughter.)

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The clock 

17    restarts.  Will the sponsor yield?

18                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

20    sponsor yields.

21                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you.  

22                 Are you confident that this 

23    $10 million is sufficient for our boards of 

24    elections to meet all these new requirements?  

25                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Excellent 


 1    question.  We gave them more money last year.  

 2    We're not clear that they've spent it all.  And 

 3    it probably varies by location.  

 4                 But we are optimistic that it's more 

 5    than was going to be there for them and that 

 6    every dollar helps.  So that it should help them 

 7    move along.  I know some bought new machines, 

 8    some are still looking to buy new machines.  Some 

 9    had fewer problems with the earlier voting, some 

10    had more problems with the earlier voting.  

11                 So one thing I've learned is that 

12    elections operate pretty differently depending on 

13    what county you're talking to.  Which is why we 

14    didn't mandate the 10 million for any one 

15    specific activity.

16                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you.

17                 Mr. President, will the sponsor 

18    continue to yield? 

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

20    sponsor yield?

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

23    sponsor yields.

24                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you.  

25                 We have heard from a lot of boards 


 1    of elections they're really struggling with 

 2    resources, they're struggling with training, 

 3    they're struggling with staffing.  So the 

 4    additional resources are important.  

 5                 But one of the things that's a real 

 6    problem is our smaller counties complying with 

 7    all these early voting requirements, all these 

 8    new mandates that are being passed down.

 9                 So is there any money that's 

10    earmarked specifically to help out our smaller 

11    and our more rural counties who are struggling to 

12    comply with these mandates?

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So it's for any 

14    purpose.  I know that the State Board of 

15    Elections has talked about doing more online 

16    training and unification of training so that you 

17    don't necessarily need the same specialists in 

18    every county if you can do online training of 

19    your workers.  

20                 But as far as the other examples you 

21    gave, it's not clear to me that there is a 

22    general sense of what everybody ought to be 

23    doing.

24                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you.

25                 Mr. President, would the sponsor 


 1    yield for a question or two on energy?  

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 3    sponsor yield?

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 6    sponsor yields.

 7                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you.  

 8                 This one-house proposal has several 

 9    large aspects to it concerning the energy sector, 

10    but many of these proposals do not address the 

11    concerns of long-term affordability for energy 

12    consumers in New York, both residential as well 

13    as industrial and commercial consumers.  

14                 What is the justification behind the 

15    modest suspension of motor fuel taxes proposed, 

16    and is there any particular reason why the 

17    one-house stops short of suspending all fuel 

18    taxes?

19                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you for 

20    asking that.  You faked us out as to what the 

21    question was going to be.

22                 Although I do want to just go back 

23    and point out also on local election issues and 

24    other local issues, we also increase AIM funding 

25    to our localities by $210 million, which 


 1    hopefully will allow them to have some additional 

 2    money to cover unique local issues for 

 3    themselves.  

 4                 And we're also stopping sales tax 

 5    intercept, which is another $250 million.  So we 

 6    are definitely, within our one-house, trying to 

 7    make sure that we are increasing the amount of 

 8    state revenue going back to our counties and 

 9    localities for them to use it as they prioritize, 

10    which I think is a real victory, probably, that 

11    everyone would agree with here.

12                 Now to go back to your question 

13    about -- thank you, I didn't forget, I just 

14    wanted to get that in.

15                 SENATOR RATH:   Okay.  Good, thank 

16    you.

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   -- about 

18    increased energy costs.  

19                 There is an assumption that perhaps 

20    we don't agree upon that moving to -- off of gas 

21    and petroleum and into green energy will cost us 

22    more.  Because actually the research shows once 

23    we get started, it will cost us less.  So we're 

24    hoping to be able to move to green energy and the 

25    kinds of energy that don't destroy the planet as 


 1    quickly as possible because, one, then we won't 

 2    destroy the planet, and two, the pricing will 

 3    actually go down.

 4                 Now, is that going to happen this 

 5    year as gas prices are going up?  Clearly not 

 6    fast enough.  So we are facing a crisis of 

 7    increased costs of gasoline.  And most everyone 

 8    analyzed it as being because of Putin and the 

 9    Russian war in Europe, which I suspect the State 

10    Senate Rs and Ds won't have that much ability to 

11    change the story line in.  

12                 What we can try to do is lower the 

13    costs particularly for people who are most 

14    dependent on using petroleum vehicles, as we have 

15    not transitioned fast enough into EV vehicles.  

16    So we are proposing, in our one-house, a 

17    reduction in the gas tax, 16 cents a gallon in 

18    state gas tax and then the option for the 

19    localities to match it with their local sales 

20    tax.  Because sales taxes are usually half state 

21    and approximately half locality.  So we are 

22    proposing that for the remainder of 2022.

23                 SENATOR RATH:   Through you, 

24    Mr. President, one quick follow-up question.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 


 1    sponsor yield?

 2                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 4    sponsor yields.

 5                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you.  Sixteen 

 6    cents, but not 33.  We have the chance to cut it 

 7    to 33, and we're doing 16.  People need a break.  

 8    Costs are escalating.  Why not the 33-cent cut?

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Every action has 

10    a reaction.  And we currently use gas tax revenue 

11    to pay for the highway maintenance and repairs.  

12    So we thought it was not actually the best idea 

13    to zero out all the funds going into the highway 

14    funds.  And so that's why we chose half, but 

15    recognizing that the localities could get us to 

16    that 33 cents by matching it at the local level.  

17                 And interestingly, because the price 

18    of gas is going up, at the local level the sales 

19    tax revenue is growing much larger than any 

20    locality imagined it would be or projected in 

21    their budget.  Because every time the price of 

22    gas goes up, they're getting more from sales tax 

23    than they thought they were.  So we actually 

24    believe it's perfectly reasonable to suggest that 

25    we take half that cost and ask them to take half 


 1    that cost.

 2                 SENATOR RATH:   Through you, Mr 

 3    President, one more question.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 5    sponsor yield?

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 8    sponsor yields.

 9                 SENATOR RATH:   Is there anything in 

10    any of the proposals in your one-house proposal 

11    that lowers energy costs for homeowners and 

12    businesses in New York State?

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So we are 

14    offering significant tax credits for retrofitting 

15    your home to solar or geothermal.  We are 

16    expanding the solar tax credit from 5,000 to 

17    10,000.  We're going to a 10,000 geothermal tax 

18    as well.  Right?  Five thousand geothermal.  What 

19    else?  

20                 We're incentivizing the use of 

21    electric vehicles by providing credits for 

22    purchasing electric vehicles or purchasing 

23    chargers for electric vehicles.  

24                 We have a package of climate change 

25    proposals that put money into a number of 


 1    additional retrofits for people -- excuse me.  

 2    We're not retrofitting people.  How about 

 3    people's homes.  Maybe we'd like to retrofit 

 4    people; I'm not sure how to do that.  

 5    Retrofitting private homes as well as businesses.  

 6                 If you have a chance to review our 

 7    climate package within our one-house, including 

 8    our redefinition of the bond act and what that 

 9    money should be used for, I think you will see 

10    quite a few other things that you might not have 

11    thought about but would meet those standards.

12                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you, Senator.  

13                 Mr. President, I'm all set and hope 

14    you reset the clock for my colleagues.

15                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Oh, and one more 

16    thing, I'm sorry.

17                 SENATOR RATH:   Oh, I'm sorry.

18                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Through you, 

19    Mr. President.

20                 SENATOR RATH:   Absolutely.

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   And there's an 

22    additional 400 million for utility arrears for 

23    people who have not been able to pay their 

24    utilities because of the same problems they faced 

25    in not being able to pay their rent or their 


 1    mortgages during COVID.  

 2                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you, 

 3    Mr. President, I'm all set.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

 5    you, Senator Rath.

 6                 Senator Serino.

 7                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 8    we're at 4:12, which is the two-hour limit.  In 

 9    an effort to be very accommodating, we're going 

10    to go till 4:30 and absolutely cut it off at 

11    4:30.  So the remaining four or five members that 

12    want to debate, that's how much time you have.  

13    If your colleagues go long before you, it's on 

14    you.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

16    you, Senator Gianaris.

17                 Senator Serino.

18                 SENATOR SERINO:   I'm going to be 

19    lickety split.  Senator Krueger -- does the 

20    Senator yield for questions?

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

23    Krueger, do you yield?

24                 SENATOR SERINO:   Thank you.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 


 1    sponsor yields.  

 2                 SENATOR SERINO:   Does this 

 3    one-house budget proposal include specific money 

 4    for research, education or prevention initiatives 

 5    for Lyme and tick-borne diseases?

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I really don't 

 7    know.  Does someone know and want to run up here?  

 8                 Why don't you continue with the 

 9    questions, and maybe somebody will let me know.

10                 SENATOR SERINO:   Okay, absolutely.  

11    As you know -- oh, does the sponsor continue to 

12    yield?  Sorry.  

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

15    sponsor yields.

16                 SENATOR SERINO:   And as you know, 

17    mental health was a huge subject, right, with all 

18    the questions.  But with the children's mental 

19    health beds, I'm glad to see that we're having 

20    that conversation and it sounds like we're making 

21    the investment there and in the stabilization 

22    centers as well.  And I share --

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   (Inaudible.)

24                 SENATOR SERINO:   Oh, thank you.  

25                 And I share the concerns that my 


 1    colleagues had.  

 2                 But there was -- there's a proposal 

 3    that includes $50 million for mental health 

 4    grants under Aid to Localities, and I'm just 

 5    wondering how those are going to be disbursed.  

 6    Is it going to be by -- geographically, 

 7    population, or through like a competitive 

 8    process?

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   It's in 

10    education, so it will go through the school 

11    districts.

12                 SENATOR SERINO:   I just hope that 

13    they streamline the process because it -- they 

14    can't get bogged with too many -- you know, too 

15    much red tape.

16                 Did they have the answer to the 

17    question on Lyme yet?  Because I'm -- 

18                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   (Inaudible.)

19                 SENATOR SERINO:   And I'll just be 

20    real -- I'll just be real quick.  

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   We accepted the 

22    Executive of $69,400 for Lyme.  

23                 SENATOR SERINO:   And I see that the 

24    one-house proposes an additional --

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator  


 1    Serino -- I'm sorry, I know you're going quick, 

 2    but are you asking the sponsor to yield?  

 3                 SENATOR SERINO:   Oh, yes, I'm 

 4    sorry.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 6    sponsor yield?  

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Sorry, it's my 

 8    fault also.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

10    sponsor yields.

11                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Sorry, 

12    Mr. President.

13                 SENATOR SERINO:   Sorry.  I see that 

14    the one-house proposes an additional $2 million 

15    for the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, a 

16    program that of course plays a critical role in 

17    protecting the health and safety of nursing home 

18    residents.  

19                 While that's a start, I submitted a 

20    bipartisan letter for $20 million to bolster and 

21    professionalize this critical program.  Can you 

22    tell me why there's been such a small investment 

23    made in such a critical program in your proposal?

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   You're going to 

25    get me fired, Sue Serino.  I wanted 20 million 


 1    also.  (Laughing.) 

 2                 Mr. President, because we didn't 

 3    have enough money to go around and we thought it 

 4    was a great idea and at least in Year 1 we could 

 5    get it started, knowing that we're going to need 

 6    more funds.

 7                 SENATOR SERINO:   Thank you, 

 8    Senator.

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.  

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT 

11    BAILEY:   Senator Helming.

12                 SENATOR HELMING:   Thank you, 

13    Mr. President.  Will the sponsor yield for a few 

14    questions.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

16    sponsor yield?

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

19    Senator yields.

20                 SENATOR HELMING:   Thanks, Senator 

21    Krueger.

22                 Senator Krueger, if there's one 

23    thing we've learned over the past year it's that 

24    the ERAP program is so bureaucratic, it's very 

25    slow, and both tenants and landlords are 


 1    suffering.  Tenants are falling further behind 

 2    with their rent payments, and landlords are at 

 3    risk of losing their property because they can't 

 4    meet their financial obligations.  

 5                 I look at this one-house budget as a 

 6    great opportunity to streamline the ERAP process 

 7    and the program.  Is there anything in this 

 8    one-house budget that proposes doing just that?

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   We share the 

10    frustration.  We know that we started off slow 

11    moving the money out.  We sped it up quite a bit.  

12    And I think we've now given out 1.6 of the 

13    2 billion.  And we have the dilemma of the 

14    difficulty in finding the landlords sometimes, 

15    finding the right paperwork.  It's amazing how 

16    complicated it is.  And a lot of it is tied up 

17    with the requirements of the federal government 

18    and what they tell us we have to collect.  Which 

19    is also why we wanted to make sure we have a 

20    state program to invest money in directly to the 

21    landlords, and we're continuing that and putting 

22    how much money in?

23                 (Pause.)

24                 SENATOR HELMING:   Through you, 

25    Mr. President, if the sponsor would continue to 


 1    yield.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 3    sponsor continue to yield?  I thought --

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   I believe 

 6    she was still answering the question.  I'm sorry, 

 7    Senator Helming.

 8                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   No, that's okay.  

 9    Go right ahead.

10                 SENATOR HELMING:   I mean, I would 

11    argue every point that you just made, that it is 

12    so challenging and difficult to get any answers 

13    to specific questions from the commissioner and 

14    his agency.  

15                 But I want to switch quickly because 

16    we are so limited in time.  Something that's 

17    personally very important to me is providing 

18    housing for those homeless veterans who are 

19    seeking it.  In the Greater Rochester area, we 

20    have a tremendous lack of housing for veterans, 

21    especially females, women with children.  

22                 And I'm wondering if there was any 

23    discussion and if this budget includes a 

24    restoration of the Warrior Salute program.  In 

25    the past, they received about $250,000, $300,000, 


 1    but I believe it was cut out two years ago.

 2                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I'm not familiar 

 3    with that program.  

 4                 There is a -- there has been quite a 

 5    bit of discussion about needing more funds for 

 6    homeless people statewide, the recognition that 

 7    every community is suffering from populations 

 8    that are homeless.  (Pause.)

 9                 We also did the $250 million Access 

10    program for funding for people who are homeless, 

11    so we really upped the amount of money.  And I 

12    guess what I would suggest is that if you know a 

13    group specifically in Rochester that's working 

14    with homeless veterans, that we should make sure 

15    that they're being reached out to to make sure 

16    that they know how to apply.  

17                 SENATOR HELMING:   Through you, 

18    Mr. President, if the sponsor will continue to 

19    yield.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

21    sponsor yield?

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

24    sponsor yields.

25                 SENATOR REICHLIN-MELNICK:   I will 


 1    do that.  

 2                 And I asked about the Warrior Salute 

 3    program because it's so wonderful and successful 

 4    every year.  

 5                 But just moving along very quickly 

 6    here, keeping people in their homes is very 

 7    important.  I agree that we have a homelessness 

 8    issue that needs to be addressed.  This includes 

 9    people who live in state-operated group homes, 

10    people with developmental disabilities.  

11                 Over the weekend I attended the 

12    event with PEF.  My colleagues from this body 

13    were in attendance as well, and we heard about 

14    the dozens of group homes that have been closed 

15    since 2019, both permanently and temporarily 

16    closed, along with the day treatment programs.

17                 Is there anything in this budget 

18    that says -- that commits to our developmentally 

19    disabled population in New York State that we are 

20    going to reopen these homes and we're going to 

21    stop moving you around like you're pieces of a 

22    puzzle instead of the human beings that you are?  

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So we know that 

24    we have a new commissioner for OPWDD who I think 

25    comes to the position with a much better 


 1    understanding of the real-life issues for 

 2    families and the real pain if a facility is 

 3    closed that was working and being successful for 

 4    their probably in most cases adult children.  

 5    Although I guess also children children.  

 6                 And there is additional funding for 

 7    facilities within the "O" agencies.  But I am not 

 8    aware of the Governor making any commitments to 

 9    reopening specific facilities, and I don't 

10    believe we got that far into the weeds in our 

11    one-house.

12                 SENATOR HELMING:   Mr. President, if 

13    the sponsor will continue to yield.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

15    sponsor yield?

16                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

18    sponsor yields.

19                 SENATOR HELMING:   Senator Krueger, 

20    continuing along the same lines, the CDPAP 

21    program, Consumer Directed Personal Assistance 

22    Program, this Medicaid program -- I know you're 

23    familiar with it -- provides services to 

24    chronically ill or physically disabled 

25    individuals who have a medical need.  These folks 


 1    cannot live in their own homes without services.  

 2    They cannot.  We are at a crisis with that 

 3    program.  The Center for Disability Rights is 

 4    right around the corner from my district office.  

 5    I hear from people, I met with a woman on Friday 

 6    and she had this to say to me.  She said:  "Pam, 

 7    I'm at the end of the rope, I don't know what to 

 8    do."  She needs 24/7 care.  She said, "I'm 

 9    thinking about trying to commit a crime so I 

10    could get into jail and get the services that I 

11    need."  

12                 Is there anything in this budget 

13    that increases the ability for folks in the CDPAP 

14    program to increase the wages, to restore 

15    benefits to the people who work in those 

16    programs?

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So yes, one of 

18    the major initiatives in our one-house bill is 

19    increased revenue for salary increases for people 

20    who are working in home care, which will include 

21    through CDPAP as well as through other 

22    traditional models.  So absolutely, more money 

23    for staffing.

24                 But there was also some changes the 

25    state made in the number of CDPAP intermediary 


 1    agencies, and there's some concern about that.  

 2    And so we sort of slowed that down a bit also 

 3    within our one-house.  

 4                 And we also invested some money into 

 5    capital for home care facilities as well.  Which 

 6    would actually be more a fit with the previous 

 7    question you asked about the group homes.

 8                 SENATOR HELMING:   Thank you, 

 9    Senator Krueger.  

10                 If the sponsor will yield for one 

11    more question.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

13    sponsor yield?

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

16    sponsor yields.

17                 SENATOR HELMING:   Changing topics 

18    here a little bit.  The Gananda Central School 

19    District received significantly less Foundation 

20    Aid per student when it's compared to similar 

21    schools.  Even wealthier school districts receive 

22    almost double what Gananda receives per student.  

23                 In the past budgets I have seen 

24    carveouts for schools who have needed an 

25    additional bump-up -- Yonkers, Rochester City 


 1    School District and others.  Is there anything in 

 2    this budget for the Gananda Central School 

 3    District?  I know they've highlighted their 

 4    plight to myself, to the chair of the Education 

 5    Committee and others.

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I don't know them 

 7    personally, so I'm just going to check with this 

 8    gentleman.

 9                 So my understanding is everybody got 

10    at least a 3 percent increase in Foundation Aid 

11    base funding.  And that you should probably have 

12    a chat with the Education chair, Shelley Mayer, 

13    about what other possibilities there might be.

14                 SENATOR HELMING:   Through you, 

15    Mr. President.  Thank you.  And that has been 

16    done for the last couple of years.  And I know 

17    the school district has reached out numerous 

18    times as well.  

19                 That does it for my questions.  

20    Thank you, Senator Krueger.

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

23    Martucci.

24                 SENATOR MARTUCCI:   Thank you, 

25    Mr. President.  


 1                 My question is with respect to TED 

 2    Part RR, if the Senator would yield.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator  

 4    Krueger, do you yield?  

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I do.  But remind 

 6    me what Part RR is.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 8    sponsor yields.  

 9                 SENATOR MARTUCCI:   I'll tell you 

10    about it.  Extender producer responsibility.

11                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   (Inaudible.)

12                 (Laughter.)

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   -- it's amazing.

14                 SENATOR MARTUCCI:   I'm trying to 

15    make this more efficient, because I've only got 

16    six minutes left.  So I'm going to use it well.

17                 All right.  My question is with 

18    respect to municipalities that currently have 

19    recycling programs.  If a municipality operates 

20    its own recycling program, is it able to opt out 

21    of EPR?

22                 (Pause.)

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.  It's a new 

24    agreement between the producers and the 

25    municipalities, and the municipalities can opt 


 1    out.

 2                 SENATOR MARTUCCI:   So if the 

 3    Senator would yield.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

 5    sponsor yield?

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 8    sponsor yields.  

 9                 SENATOR MARTUCCI:   Through you, 

10    Mr. President.  So if the municipality is able to 

11    opt out, or chooses for some reason not to opt 

12    out, is there anything that is included in the 

13    language that's before us today that would 

14    somehow protect or dictate what happens to the 

15    collectively bargained workforce?

16                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   No, it doesn't 

17    address collective bargaining.  They would have 

18    to work that out at home.

19                 SENATOR MARTUCCI:   Thank you, 

20    Mr. President.  I have one other question.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

22    sponsor yield?

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

25    sponsor yields.


 1                 SENATOR MARTUCCI:   Thank you, 

 2    Senator.  

 3                 I'm going to pivot to Part SS, which 

 4    has to do with a ban on certain packaging.  

 5    That's a part of this proposal as well.  

 6                 Has there been any consideration 

 7    paid to carveouts, specific carveouts with 

 8    respect to packaging that's used for medical 

 9    purposes such as storing of cellular therapies, 

10    cryogenics, and even the storage and distribution 

11    of vaccines?  Which we've clearly seen over the 

12    past year is pretty important.

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   It's not in the 

14    Governor's proposal.  But apparently the industry 

15    has been approaching us as well with concerns 

16    about medical packaging.  So I think we're very 

17    open to learning more about this.

18                 SENATOR MARTUCCI:   Thank you, 

19    Mr. President.  I thank the Senator for answering 

20    our questions.  And I look forward to those 

21    conversations in the weeks to come.  Thank you.

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.  

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

24    you, Senator.  

25                 Senator Tedisco.


 1                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   Will the Senator 

 2    yield for a few questions?  

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 4    sponsor yield?

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Of course.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 7    sponsor yields.

 8                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   Thank you.  

 9                 First of all, let me let you know I 

10    checked the drawer for Senator Gianaris's old 

11    desk.  There's nothing in it today, so I'm not 

12    going to be using anything in there.  So he can 

13    relax.

14                 I want to ask you very quickly, what 

15    are the two largest spending and revenue parts of 

16    this budget?  The two largest.

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Without even 

18    looking, it's education and healthcare.

19                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   Yeah.  Or social 

20    services?  Excuse me.

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   No, social 

22    services are nothing compared to education and 

23    healthcare.

24                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   Okay.  Now, you 

25    said in one of your comments earlier on, I think 


 1    it was with Senator O'Mara, "The state is very 

 2    good at making very large adjustments quickly and 

 3    effectively."

 4                 Do you remember a man named Willie 

 5    Sutton?  

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I don't know him 

 7    personally, but I remember the reference.  That 

 8    he would rob banks because that's where the money 

 9    was.

10                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   That's where the 

11    money was.  And I don't know if he really said -- 

12    excuse me.  

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

14    Krueger, do you yield?  

15                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I do yield.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

17    Krueger yields.

18                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   I don't know if 

19    he really said that, but they say he really said 

20    that.

21                 And what I want to ask you is about 

22    one time not so far back -- you and I were here, 

23    several members were here -- we had a terrible 

24    deficit, a terrible deficit.  There must have 

25    been some bad budgets leading up to that deficit.  


 1    And we corrected that deficit.  And you probably 

 2    remember how we corrected that deficit.  When I 

 3    say large amounts, and you said education, it was 

 4    through taking money from education.  

 5                 And when we took that money from 

 6    education, we developed an unbelievable, terrible 

 7    gap in providing funding for kids and schools and 

 8    special education.  And it was a hard process to 

 9    get back to the point where we actually closed 

10    that gap.

11                 Would you call that a very good -- a 

12    very large adjustment, very quickly, to solve a 

13    problem?

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So if I had my 

15    druthers, no, I would not choose to cut education 

16    funding or healthcare funding.

17                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   Would the 

18    gentlelady --

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

20    sponsor yield? 

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I certainly do.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

23    sponsor yields.

24                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   So we're not 

25    always very good at making large adjustments.


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Well, apparently 

 2    we're good at making them.  We may not always 

 3    make the right decisions.  But we made the 

 4    decisions when we had to, yeah.

 5                 But I would agree -- I don't think 

 6    that I was the Governor that day, or any day, but 

 7    I don't think that our cutting education funding 

 8    proved to be a very good move for us.

 9                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   Will the Senator 

10    yield.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

12    sponsor yield?

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Of course.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

15    sponsor yields.

16                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   Just help me one 

17    more time.  The difference between the Governor's 

18    budget and our budget, with numbers and 

19    percentages of increase.  We've increased it by a 

20    percentage and we've increased it by numbers.  

21    What's the percentage and the number?  

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   We increased it 

23    by $9 billion over what the Governor proposed.  

24    And that percentage increase would be 

25    11.1 percent.  


 1                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   Eleven point --

 2                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   -- .1 percent 

 3    over the Governor's.

 4                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   Would the 

 5    gentlewoman yield.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator  

 7    Krueger, do you yield?  

 8                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   I'm sorry, 11.1 

 9    over -- over this year's budget.  But her 

10    proposed budget goes up 3.2 percent; ours goes up 

11    11.1 percent.

12                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   This has gotta be 

13    the last question, and I'll tell you why -- would 

14    she yield?

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

16    Krueger, do you yield?

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I'm happy to 

18    yield.

19                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   Last question, 

20    and I'll tell you why I'm going to ask it.  

21    Because we have the worst inflation in 40 years.  

22    Every dollar -- we talked about the gasoline tax 

23    and cutting the tax, but it's really the cost of 

24    a gallon of gasoline also.  Home heating, buying 

25    groceries, paying the kids' tuition, paying our 


 1    car payments -- everything is chipping away at 

 2    every dollar.

 3                 I want to ask you -- the one thing I 

 4    don't hear a lot about when we're providing all 

 5    this funding -- an 11 percent increase, 

 6    $9 billion -- is the beleaguered property tax 

 7    owner.  Are we doing anything about the STAR 

 8    program to enhance it and help them out through 

 9    that?  It's been a very good program.  I remember 

10    when I was in the minority, we fought for it, we 

11    helped development -- we helped to get it across 

12    and save 35 or 40 billion dollars.  But when you 

13    eat away at all those other things -- and I'll 

14    tell you why it's important.  

15                 You've got young people before the 

16    pandemic and leading into the pandemic who bought 

17    homes.  They're looking at their mortgage now, 

18    they're looking at their tax payment now, and 

19    they're saying, Wait a second, I don't think I 

20    can afford to keep my house anymore.  

21                 But above and beyond that, even with 

22    the Enhanced program, we have seniors who are 

23    calling me and saying, "I'm on a fixed income, 

24    I've been on a fixed income for a long time."  

25    Maybe just Social Security, maybe just a very 


 1    small pension system.  "I could afford to pay for 

 2    my house over 40 or 45 years, Senator," they tell 

 3    me, "but I don't think I can keep it now because 

 4    I can't afford to pay the taxes even with the 

 5    STAR program in place."

 6                 So we talk about regressive taxes?  

 7    My mom died at 97.  She lived for many years -- 

 8    my father worked in the foundry for 30 years to 

 9    bring up three children and to be able to own a 

10    home.  She lived on Social Security of 12 or 13 

11    or $14,000 for many, many years.  My father 

12    passed away at 67.  She lived to be 97.  

13                 Her house had a value.  Was it fair 

14    to charge her with the fellow next to her who 

15    might have been making $100,000 or $200,000 at 

16    the General Electric as an executive?  It's a 

17    terribly regressive tax.  

18                 Why is there nothing done to enhance 

19    that -- I'm a little bit interested in helping 

20    people out with their heating bills, that's fine.  

21    But that's not going to cover the cost of the 

22    expansion of the taxes eating into their small 

23    pensions and eating into their small Social 

24    Security.

25                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So Mr. President, 


 1    I wanted to thank Senator Tedisco for that 

 2    question.  We put $2.2 billion into expanding 

 3    STAR in our one-house budget.  We still have 

 4    400 million that we put in last year to continue 

 5    a circuit-breaker for exactly this population.  

 6    So combined, it's $2.6 billion in property tax 

 7    reductions through STAR and circuit-breaker.  

 8                 And we made adjustments to the 

 9    Governor's proposal to target more of it to 

10    people who have less than $75,000 in income and 

11    people who have -- for people under 75,000 there 

12    would be an additional $942 in STAR.  For people 

13    75,000 to 150,000 in income, an additional 683 in 

14    STAR.  For people 150,000 to 200,000, an 

15    additional 393 in STAR.  And for the Enhanced 

16    program, an additional $800 on top of the 

17    existing STAR, on top of the -- for those who are 

18    eligible, the circuit-breaker that we expanded 

19    last year and continued it to this year.

20                 So I'm very proud of my conference's 

21    commitment to trying to address exactly what 

22    you're describing for exactly that population.

23                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   Will the 

24    gentlewoman yield.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 


 1    Tedisco, this will be the last question that we 

 2    permit.  

 3                 Senator Krueger, do you yield?  

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

 5                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   Now, what 

 6    percentage would that be as compared to the size 

 7    of the budget increase?  I mean, you said 9 

 8    percent for the budget.  What increase would that 

 9    be to help the homeowners?

10                 (Pause.)

11                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   So we're 

12    increasing the budget in total 9 billion, but 

13    2.2 billion is going to the new property tax 

14    reductions.  

15                 So if you look at the total, not 

16    just the General Fund, it's a $13 billion 

17    increase, of which you've got the 2.2 billion 

18    STAR, the 400 million continuing circuit-breaker.  

19                 We also -- the gas tax is also 

20    relief, we think, for a very similar population 

21    of people.  

22                 And we accepted the Governor's 

23    proposal to accelerate the phase-in of middle 

24    class tax deductions as well.

25                 So I actually think we have a very 


 1    robust package of tax reductions here.

 2                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   Thank you.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

 4    you, Senator Tedisco.

 5                 Are there any other Senators wishing 

 6    to be heard?

 7                 Seeing and hearing none, debate is 

 8    closed.

 9                 Senator Gianaris.

10                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

11    Mr. President.

12                 I want to thank the members for 

13    their cooperation.  

14                 Just as a remainder, the rules say a 

15    resolution can be debated for 30 minutes.  We are 

16    now on two and a half hours.  So we've, as I 

17    noted, been very accommodating.  

18                 As we move into vote explanations, 

19    we have a number of members who will be 

20    explaining their votes on both sides of the 

21    aisle, and I know Mr. President is going to be 

22    very strict with the two-minute vote explanation 

23    rule.  

24                 So just to let all the members know 

25    how this is going to go for the next probably 


 1    over an hour, with the number of people on the 

 2    list.  

 3                 Thank you, Mr. President.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

 5    roll.

 6                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   As 

 8    mentioned by Senator Gianaris, pursuant to 

 9    Rule 9, Section 3, subsection (e), please, 

10    colleagues, kindly but firmly keep your comments 

11    to two minutes.

12                 Senator Rivera to explain his vote.

13                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Thank you, 

14    Mr. President.  

15                 As I stated earlier, the most 

16    important part here is that we have to think 

17    about the fact that for the last 10 years the 

18    budgets have been about disinvestment, about 

19    austerity.  And so I am happy to say that the 

20    Governor's budget proposal was a great beginning, 

21    but our one-house budget proposal is many, many 

22    more steps forward. 

23                 We talked about some of the things 

24    during my debate, but I just wanted to mention a 

25    couple more.  The bonus language for workers, we 


 1    modified to make sure that we include frontline 

 2    workers.  We also make sure that we address the 

 3    benefits cliff.  

 4                 We repealed the Medicaid global cap, 

 5    as I said.  We increased the capital program.  So 

 6    we added an additional $400 million in resources, 

 7    so we have pots for hospitals all across the 

 8    state and for -- we took 25 percent of that and 

 9    we save it for safety net -- for a set-aside for 

10    capital funding to be directed to community-based 

11    organizations.  We want to make sure they don't 

12    get left out.  

13                 We expanded the Executive's one-year 

14    postpartum coverage proposal to include all 

15    residents of New York State.  We added language 

16    to create parity in dispensing fees for 

17    pharmacies.  Thank you, Senator Skoufis, for that 

18    language.  We omitted the Executive's telehealth 

19    parity proposal so we would expand telehealth 

20    with a few bills of mine.  We enacted Fair Pay 

21    for Home Care to establish home care worker pay.  

22                 We did all of these things as -- and 

23    this, Mr. President, is because this is what our 

24    belief is as to how important taking these steps 

25    forward, to make sure that we can have the 


 1    disinvestment and the austerity that we've had 

 2    for the last decade go back.  We want to make 

 3    sure that we take many steps in the opposite 

 4    direction.  We're doing that today.  

 5                 I'm incredibly happy to vote in the 

 6    affirmative for this.  And that's a minute and 

 7    32 seconds, Mr. President.  Thank you.  

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 9    Rivera to be recorded in the affirmative.

10                 Senator Harckham to explain his 

11    vote.

12                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Thank you very 

13    much, Mr. President.

14                 New Yorkers all over the state are 

15    hurting.  And there's a lot of conversation about 

16    what this budget does for ordinary New Yorkers.  

17    And I would just take a minute to have a slightly 

18    different take on one of my colleagues from 

19    across the aisle, who said this budget had 

20    nothing for hardworking New Yorkers.  

21                 I would suggest the opposite.  This 

22    budget is all about hardworking New Yorkers, 

23    starting with record education funding to lift 

24    our children up and hold the line on property 

25    taxes.  Continuing to expand pre-K outside of 


 1    New York City.  Record increases in childcare so 

 2    that folks can go back to work.  You ask people 

 3    in businesses the number-one reason why jobs are 

 4    open right now, it's because folks cannot afford 

 5    safe, affordable childcare.  

 6                 And then you put in what we're doing 

 7    for small businesses, continuing the grant 

 8    program, the small business tax cut.  Let's look 

 9    at the middle-class tax cut.  Let's look at the 

10    property tax relief that we just spoke about on 

11    the floor.

12                 So there are many, many things here 

13    that I think are very favorable to invest in our 

14    families as we come out of the recovery.

15                 Finally I want to point to one other 

16    thing.  Let's talk about OASAS, which I oversee 

17    on the Committee of Alcoholism and Substance 

18    Abuse.  What other agency do we ever remember in 

19    this chamber getting a 50 percent increase in 

20    their budget during the budget cycle?  Which is 

21    amazing.  

22                 But it's one thing to put money into 

23    the budget, but if the system is not working for 

24    people, we have to change it.  And that's why I'm 

25    glad colleagues have put in the merger of OASAS 


 1    and OMH, because 70 percent of people who present 

 2    with a substance use disorder also have an 

 3    underlying mental issue that they are 

 4    self-medicating for.  

 5                 So there are so many good things in 

 6    this budget.  I appreciate colleagues, the 

 7    Majority Leader and our staff, Senator Krueger 

 8    for her performance here today on the floor.  I 

 9    vote aye.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

11    Harckham to be recorded in the affirmative.

12                 Senator Ramos to explain her vote.

13                 SENATOR RAMOS:   Thank you, 

14    Mr. President.  And good afternoon, everyone.  

15                 I rise to explain my vote in the 

16    affirmative.  I'm so proud to see us take 

17    tremendous steps away from the Executive proposal 

18    and actually stand up for working-class 

19    New Yorkers.

20                 As the chair of the Labor Committee, 

21    I especially want to tout the $50 million in 

22    workforce training that we're facilitating, and 

23    also $22.5 million to Cornell in order to focus 

24    on the Climate Jobs Institute and a cannabis 

25    workforce initiative.


 1                 We also managed to get prevailing 

 2    wage into the Environmental Bond Act, which is 

 3    great.

 4                 I also am happy to see that we were 

 5    able to build on the Farmworker Fair Labor 

 6    Practices Act that I passed in 2019.  We're 

 7    solidifying the path for them to reach a 40-hour 

 8    work week with guaranteed overtime after that, 

 9    and some improvements to PERB in order to help 

10    create more unions like we've been able to win at 

11    Pindar Vineyards in Suffolk County.  

12                 I also want to of course talk a 

13    little bit about childcare.  As a mom, I made 

14    this a priority of mine during this budget cycle.  

15    And so much of the work that you and I have done, 

16    President, on this bill actually has made it into 

17    this budget.  We're finally eliminating the work 

18    requirement for New Yorkers to be able to qualify 

19    for childcare, including for our undocumented 

20    neighbors.  And we're covering children five and 

21    below as we continue to roll out universal pre-K 

22    without a gap in between 4-and-5-year-olds, which 

23    is really important in keeping kids safe, of 

24    course helping parents return back into the 

25    workforce, and helping our childcare providers.  


 1    Which I still think we should have created a wage 

 2    floor for them, and that's something we're going 

 3    to continue to fight for.

 4                 But all that being said, I believe 

 5    that as we talk about a just recovery for all, 

 6    really as communities of color and especially 

 7    women of color, we know what it's like to get one 

 8    bite at the apple and still leave so many needs 

 9    unmet.  So with no solutions for excluded workers 

10    and no guarantee for a living wage for childcare 

11    workers, it actually does leave a lot of work for 

12    us to do.

13                 But I want to thank our Majority 

14    Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, all of the 

15    advocates, my staff, central staff, and everybody 

16    that has worked on this document.  

17                 I'm very proud to vote in the 

18    affirmative.  Thank you.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

20    Ramos to be recorded in the affirmative.

21                 Senator Ryan to explain his vote.

22                 SENATOR RYAN:   Thank you, 

23    Mr. President.  Good afternoon.  

24                 As we rebuild our economy 

25    post-pandemic, we are passing our one-house 


 1    budget resolution today that makes investment in 

 2    the people of the State of New York.  Lots of 

 3    good news for the people.  Three billion dollars 

 4    in childcare -- historic investment.  

 5    One-point-four billion dollars to keep helping 

 6    landlords and renters.  And as we accelerate our 

 7    middle-class tax cuts, we're going to put more 

 8    money into people's pockets.  The budget takes 

 9    action to lower the cost of living for 

10    New Yorkers during this difficult economic time.

11                 As chair of the Libraries Committee, 

12    I'm excited to say our budget increases funding 

13    for our Library Construction Fund to $45 million.  

14    That's money that will hit the street and hit our 

15    communities quickly.  It will also allow 

16    libraries across New York State to get going on 

17    these capital projects that have been backed up.  

18                 And with the dire situation we're 

19    seeing around the world right now, very thankful 

20    to see a $7 million increase in money to help 

21    refugees resettle in America.  We hope for peace 

22    in the world, but we're often let down by that.  

23    And when people are displaced, the people of 

24    New York State will be ready to help those 

25    displaced.


 1                 We made a big investment in 

 2    broadband.  We included in the budget my 

 3    legislation called the WIRED Broadband Act.  It's 

 4    a good piece of legislation.  It's a 

 5    comprehensive plan to utilize federal and state 

 6    funding in a manner that's both efficient and 

 7    transparent and will deliver a product that we 

 8    can be proud of to the people of New York State.

 9                 The proposal includes labor 

10    standards that will ensure the creation of 

11    good-paying jobs in the fiber and broadband 

12    development fields.  It includes prevailing wage, 

13    MWBE requirements, and other critical safeguards.  

14                 And as we connect more people to 

15    broadband, we must do it in a responsible way 

16    that creates good-paying jobs.

17                 And I'd be remiss if I didn't thank 

18    the leader for her help throughout this process, 

19    and to compliment Senator Krueger for the many 

20    hours that she spent on marathon Zoom calls to 

21    put together this budget.  I really couldn't 

22    believe how you stuck to all those hearings.  And 

23    of course to our staff, who works tirelessly 

24    throughout the year, especially during budget 

25    season.


 1                 Thank you very much.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 3    Ryan to be recorded in the affirmative.

 4                 Senator Liu to explain his vote.

 5                 SENATOR LIU:   Mr. President, I am 

 6    so proud to be part of this Senate resolution 

 7    about this budget.

 8                 You know, last year for the very 

 9    first time we fulfilled a court mandate to fully 

10    fund school aid for our primary and secondary 

11    schools throughout the State of New York, an 

12    historic three-year arrangement that we are 

13    making good on the second year thereof.  And next 

14    year I fully expect that we will continue to 

15    follow through also, following through on a 

16    commitment to expand prekindergarten statewide.

17                 This year we expand on that 

18    commitment to education and our state's future by 

19    investing a historic $1.1 billion for public 

20    universities in the State of New York, split 

21    between SUNY and CUNY.  This money will provide, 

22    at long last, sufficient funding to recruit and 

23    retain a significant number of new full-time 

24    faculty members for our public universities; 

25    increase the pay for adjunct professors, who we 


 1    rely upon immensely; and perhaps most 

 2    importantly, eliminate these ridiculous fees that 

 3    our students have had to suffer under for many 

 4    years, as well as beginning to reduce the tuition 

 5    that they are forced to pay.  

 6                 As we know, for many years now, at 

 7    least two decades, the state has reduced its 

 8    share of operating aid for our public 

 9    universities, relying more and more on student 

10    tuition.  We need to start reversing that now.

11                 And one other note, you know, just 

12    over the weekend a woman, a 67-year-old woman in 

13    Yonkers was pummeled 125 times, punched by a 

14    perpetrator who called her an Asian witch, but 

15    with a B., and spat on her and descended on her 

16    like who knows.  

17                 This is yet another instance of 

18    anti-Asian hate.  I'm so proud that this Senate 

19    is supporting the AAPI Equity Budget that will 

20    finally provide that kind of support to the 

21    growing Asian American Pacific Islander community 

22    we have throughout the State of New York so that 

23    people in our community will not be as vulnerable 

24    as they have been.  

25                 Granted, this is just a Senate 


 1    budget resolution.  I look forward to fighting 

 2    for it in the final budget.

 3                 Thank you, Mr. President.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 5    Liu to be recorded in the affirmative.

 6                 Senator Brisport to explain his 

 7    vote.

 8                 SENATOR BRISPORT:   Thank you, 

 9    Mr. President.  And thank you to my colleagues, 

10    to the Senate central staff, and especially to 

11    our leader for all their work and diligence in 

12    drafting this budget resolution.

13                 Colleagues, as our state continues 

14    to have the highest wealth inequality in the 

15    nation, a great many of our constituents are 

16    wondering how they will keep their heads above 

17    water.  I am frustrated that this resolution 

18    raises no additional revenue from the ultra-rich, 

19    who should be required to contribute their fair 

20    share towards addressing these dark and difficult 

21    times.  

22                 I am nevertheless heartened by some 

23    truly crucial measures we have been fighting for 

24    here, including fair pay for home care workers, a 

25    New Deal for CUNY, as well as the elimination of 


 1    the 421-a boondoggle for wealthy developers.  

 2                 As the chair of the Committee on 

 3    Children and Families, I have been especially 

 4    focused on the childcare crisis facing New York.  

 5    For ten weeks I toured our state, listening to 

 6    parents and childcare providers share input on 

 7    the situation, and many of you joined me.  

 8                 With remarkable consistency, what we 

 9    heard was this.  In every corner of our state -- 

10    in rural farming communities, in suburban 

11    townships, in dense cities -- the childcare 

12    industry is collapsing.  Chronic underfunding and 

13    reliance upon the unpaid and underpaid labor of 

14    childcare providers, especially black women and 

15    women of color, has led us to this crisis.  

16                 As one childcare educator said:  

17    When you take something for granted long enough, 

18    it will soon disappear.  That is exactly what's 

19    happening, and it's happening fast.  

20                 I believe this resolution could go 

21    further in addressing this crisis.  However, I am 

22    proud that it devotes billions of badly needed 

23    dollars toward childcare and that it starts us on 

24    the process of finally building a universal 

25    childcare system.  If we are to stop the rapid 


 1    collapse of the childcare sector upon which our 

 2    entire economy rests, we cannot allow the 

 3    Governor to remove or delay even one dollar of 

 4    this funding in the final budget.  

 5                 I thank the leader for including it 

 6    and urge her to protect every last dollar of it 

 7    as though our families, our economy and the very 

 8    future of our state depend on it, because they 

 9    most certainly do.  

10                 I vote aye on this resolution.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

12    Brisport to be recorded in the affirmative.

13                 Senator Mayer to explain her veto.

14                 SENATOR MAYER:   Thank you, 

15    Mr. President.

16                 I proudly vote aye on this 

17    resolution, and I want to thank Majority Leader 

18    Stewart-Cousins and Senator Krueger for her 

19    leadership.  

20                 You know, as the chair of Education, 

21    I've been around the state and spoken to 

22    superintendents upstate, downstate, and of course 

23    the City of New York, our suburban communities, 

24    our rural communities and our urban communities 

25    outside New York City.  And universally, there 


 1    are two takeaways.  One, they're incredibly 

 2    grateful that we started the commitment to full 

 3    funding of Foundation Aid and that we are 

 4    continuing.  And two, they're terribly worried 

 5    about their students as they return to school 

 6    after the challenges of COVID.  

 7                 And to the credit of my colleagues, 

 8    we are addressing both of those things.  We are 

 9    in the second year of our commitment to fully 

10    funding Foundation Aid.  We are building on our 

11    commitment to universal pre-K outside New York 

12    City.  We are investing in career and technical 

13    education.  We are ensuring that our special ed 

14    schools get the money that they deserve.  They 

15    are basically public schools in different 

16    settings.  They are entitled to the money of our 

17    public schools.

18                 But most important, we are 

19    recognizing that the mental health, the social 

20    and emotional health of our children must be 

21    addressed as they recover from COVID, and we are 

22    investing in it in a creative and bold way.

23                 I also want to say that we are 

24    dealing with climate change in the school context 

25    by acknowledging the need to move to EV vehicles 


 1    for our schools, but working with the 

 2    stakeholders to make it work.

 3                 And coupled with our investment in 

 4    childcare and an investment in higher ed, in SUNY 

 5    and CUNY, we are recognizing the state's 

 6    obligation, from infancy to graduation and 

 7    beyond, that education is the power to give every 

 8    child the opportunity to achieve their dreams and 

 9    their ambitions.  When we see what is happening 

10    in the rest of the world, we cannot forget the 

11    power of our democracy and the power of education 

12    to transform a life into independence and 

13    self-determination.

14                 For that reason, I vote aye.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

16    Mayer to be recorded in the affirmative.

17                 Senator Oberacker to explain his 

18    vote.

19                 SENATOR OBERACKER:   Thank you, 

20    Mr. President.  

21                 Governor Hochul's proposed budget 

22    included record spending, but that was a bargain 

23    compared to the plan being advanced by the Senate 

24    Majority that adds another 9 billion, inflating 

25    overall state spending to a nearly $225 billion 


 1    budget.

 2                 There are positives in this budget 

 3    that will pay immediate dividends across the 

 4    state that I can support:  Repeal of the fiber 

 5    optic right-of-way tax that is stifling broadband 

 6    expansion; additional funding for CHIPS to help 

 7    fund local roads and improvements; and the 

 8    accelerated phase-in of the middle-class tax cut.

 9                 However, the overall amount of the 

10    spending is unsustainable, and tax hikes are 

11    inevitable.  The budget blows through reserve 

12    funds at an unsustainable rate and will leave our 

13    state in a highly precarious financial position 

14    going forward.  This is the very definition of an 

15    election year budget, and it is not fiscally 

16    responsible.

17                 New York City is losing population 

18    at a record rate, and if Albany fails to make 

19    major changes to this out-of-control spending 

20    plan, more people will be on their way out.  

21    Because no one, no one wants to be here when that 

22    bill comes due.  

23                 And for that reason, Mr. President, 

24    I am voting in the negative.  Thank you.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 


 1    Oberacker to be recorded in the negative.

 2                 Senator Weik to explain her vote.

 3                 SENATOR WEIK:   Thank you, 

 4    Mr. President.

 5                 In reading this one-house 

 6    resolution, it is disappointing to me that the 

 7    bill does not include language to address any of 

 8    the changes to bail reform law.  It does nothing 

 9    to address the changes to discovery reform law.  

10    This proposal does nothing to provide judges with 

11    discretion when it comes to setting bail for 

12    dangerous defendants, a proposal several of my 

13    colleagues and New York City Mayor Adams all 

14    advocated for.

15                 And finally, I can only hope that 

16    the final budget -- excuse me.  This proposal 

17    does nothing to collect data to study the impact 

18    of bail reform on public safety.  

19                 And finally, I can only hope that 

20    the final budget will include changes to bail 

21    reform and discovery laws as we saw were so 

22    important to New Yorkers in last November's 

23    election when they vehemently expressed their 

24    disgust that they are not being protected and 

25    that they have no rights and that criminals are 


 1    being put before victims.  

 2                 And for that reason, I vote in the 

 3    negative.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 5    Weik to be recorded in the negative.

 6                 Senator Brouk to explain her vote.

 7                 SENATOR BROUK:   Thank you, 

 8    Mr. President.

 9                 This budget resolution invests in 

10    our future, in our families and working people 

11    and in care for our most vulnerable residents.  

12                 In speaking with the residents of my 

13    district in the Rochester area, I hear the same 

14    stories whether they live in a city, in the 

15    suburbs, or in a more rural part of upstate.  

16    People are looking for certainty.  They're 

17    looking for support.  They're looking for hope.  

18                 This budget resolution invests in 

19    hope for our future.  We're making historic 

20    investments in childcare because as a society we 

21    have finally acknowledged that quality, reliable 

22    childcare is economic development and that no 

23    state can thrive without it.  In Monroe County we 

24    have thousands of job openings that can't be 

25    filled until parents have a safe, reliable and 


 1    affordable place to send their children.  Today, 

 2    this resolution creates that for them.

 3                 The Senate budget also invests in 

 4    older children, through expansion of our career 

 5    and technical education programs.  These CTE 

 6    programs provide academic and technical 

 7    instruction that will prepare our young people 

 8    for real-world jobs right here in New York State.  

 9    This budget expands funding so that we can 

10    recruit and retain quality instructors and so 

11    that no longer will students have months-long 

12    waitlists to join these programs.

13                 And finally, not to be forgotten, 

14    once again this Senate has kept its promise to 

15    equitably fund public schools by continuing to 

16    invest in Foundation Aid.

17                 This budget resolution does so much 

18    to support New Yorkers in need.  And as chair of 

19    the Senate Committee on Mental Health, I'd be 

20    remiss to not mention the historic investments we 

21    are making to support New Yorkers' mental health 

22    needs.  For too long, under the leadership of a 

23    previous administration, New York dismantled its 

24    mental health care system.  We closed inpatient 

25    treatment beds.  We failed to invest in 


 1    community-based programs.  And we systematically 

 2    underpaid our workers.  

 3                 Today we reverse that course.  I'm 

 4    proud that this budget includes a historic 

 5    $22 million increase to restore 200 inpatient 

 6    mental health beds.  And that after decades of 

 7    minuscule investment, this Senate gives mental 

 8    health workers not one but two years of 

 9    cost-of-living increases of 5.4 percent each 

10    year.

11                 I want to again thank you -- thank 

12    all of the advocates, the staff, and especially 

13    our Senate leadership for their tireless work in 

14    getting us to this place, and I look forward to 

15    making sure as much as possible of this 

16    resolution is enacted in our final budget.  

17                 And I vote aye.  Thank you.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

19    Brouk to be recorded in the affirmative.

20                 Senator May to explain her vote.

21                 SENATOR MAY:   Thank you, 

22    Mr. President.  

23                 I am beaming because Fair Pay for 

24    Home Care is in the Senate one-house budget.  I 

25    am so grateful to the Majority Leader for being 


 1    an early and consistent champion and to my 

 2    colleagues for recognizing just how crucial it is 

 3    to support home care workers.

 4                 Shout out, too, to the Caring 

 5    Majority, AARP, 1199, and all the tireless and 

 6    creative advocates who have made sure everyone 

 7    knows we need a robust home care system to keep 

 8    older and disabled New Yorkers healthy and safe 

 9    at home.  And that it's a good use of taxpayer 

10    dollars with a very high return on investment.

11                 But especially I want to thank the 

12    home care workers themselves, who have been doing 

13    the work for years out of dedication and love, 

14    even though they struggle to pay the rent, buy 

15    gas, and put food on the table.  To the family 

16    members who have given up your jobs to care for a 

17    loved one, our one-house supports home care but 

18    it also supports a tax credit to recognize your 

19    sacrifices.  

20                 Let me finish with a special 

21    appreciation of my constituents Michelle Spady 

22    and Sally Johnston.  Without Michelle, Sally 

23    wouldn't be able to get out of bed and into her 

24    wheelchair each day, let alone have baths, 

25    healthy meals, or fresh air.  Michelle is there 


 1    for Sally, through snow and rain, no matter what 

 2    issues she might face in her own life.  

 3                 With this one-house resolution, the 

 4    Senate resoundingly says:  To you, Sally, you 

 5    deserve adequate care in your home.  And you, 

 6    Michelle, deserve the dignity of a living wage.

 7                 I proudly vote aye.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 9    May to be recorded in the affirmative.

10                 Senator Skoufis to explain his vote.

11                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Thank you very 

12    much, Mr. President.  

13                 And I also want to extend my 

14    gratitude to the Majority Leader as well as 

15    Senator Krueger for getting us to this point.

16                 Heading into this process, I felt 

17    strongly that this needs to be a budget that 

18    addressed the kitchen-table issues that our 

19    families across New York State have been facing.  

20    And at a time when paychecks are not going as far 

21    as they used to, at a time when people are paying 

22    more at the gas pump, at a time when we're coming 

23    out of a pandemic, at a time when kids are 

24    getting back into the classroom after virtual 

25    learning the past couple of years, this was our 


 1    time as legislators to put together a budget that 

 2    addressed those core issues.

 3                 And we've done that.  And so if 

 4    you're interested in a budget that cuts property 

 5    taxes for middle-class families, this is your 

 6    budget.  If you're interested in a budget that 

 7    cuts income tax rates for our middle-class 

 8    families, this is your budget.  If you're a small 

 9    business owner looking for some relief, this is a 

10    budget that cuts small business taxes.  If you're 

11    one of the millions of New Yorkers who's paying 

12    through the nose at the pump, this budget 

13    provides relief through a gas tax holiday.  

14                 If you're one of the many, many New 

15    Yorkers who looks at the subsidies and the 

16    giveaways that are thrown around to the tune of 

17    billions of dollars every year, while you are 

18    working day and night to pay your bills, finally, 

19    this one-house budget addresses that, and we will 

20    audit every tax incentive that flows through ESD 

21    that has, to date, been held unaccountable.  

22                 If you are one of the millions of 

23    New Yorkers who's been looking on -- wonderful 

24    UPK program, where's mine? -- this budget 

25    addresses that too with a dramatic expansion of 


 1    universal pre-K throughout New York State.

 2                 As my good colleague and friend just 

 3    noted, a dramatic investment in home care, a 

 4    dramatic investment in childcare.  Finally -- 

 5    this has been a pet issue of mine -- finally, 

 6    this one-house budget takes a hard look at and 

 7    addresses the FIT, the Fashion Institute of 

 8    Technology issue that's been ripping off the 

 9    suburbs for decades now.

10                 (Laughter; applause.) 

11                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   And I also want 

12    to thank Senator Serrano and the leadership for a 

13    significant investment in our parks' capital 

14    line, which is crucially important to getting a 

15    number of Hudson Valley improvements and projects 

16    across the finish line this year.

17                 I vote aye because this is a 

18    one-house budget that is put on the kitchen 

19    tables of every single middle-class and 

20    working-class family in the state.  And I thank 

21    my colleagues and leadership for helping get that 

22    done.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

24    Skoufis to be recorded in the affirmative.

25                 Senator Boyle to explain his vote.


 1                 SENATOR BOYLE:   Thank you, 

 2    Mr. President, to explain my vote.  

 3                 Senator Skoufis, I agree with the 

 4    FIT provision, but that's about it in this bill.

 5                 New York State is the fourth-largest 

 6    state by population.  California is like another 

 7    country, and Texas and Florida and then New York, 

 8    obviously.  This budget proposal by the Majority 

 9    is larger than the state budgets of Texas and 

10    Florida combined.  To put it in some perspective, 

11    this spends approximately or proposes 225 

12    billion.  I was elected in 1994 to the Assembly.  

13    The State Budget that year was $32 billion.

14                 In one political lifetime, we're 

15    talking more than $200 billion -- way, way beyond 

16    the rate of inflation, I can tell you that much.

17                 Because we're spending this much, 

18    we're taxing this much.  People are fleeing our 

19    state.  That's why Texas, California and Florida 

20    have more people than we do, because a lot of the 

21    residents are leaving, moving there.  We cannot 

22    afford this rate of spending.  

23                 I vote in the negative.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

25    Boyle to be recorded in the negative.


 1                 Senator Hinchey to explain her vote.

 2                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Thank you, 

 3    Mr. President.

 4                 As one of the Senators representing 

 5    upstate communities and upstate areas, I am 

 6    incredibly proud that this budget resolution 

 7    brings real equity to our upstate areas, from 

 8    historic investments in rural and upstate 

 9    housing, including the development of small 

10    rental units -- something that we don't talk 

11    about and has not been funded, I don't think 

12    ever, in the history of our budgets -- to 

13    expanding pre-K across our entire state.  To arts 

14    funding outside of New York City, to modernizing 

15    our EMS services, which are crucial lifelines to 

16    the communities in our rural areas, to expanding 

17    fair pay -- or securing Fair Pay for Home Care.  

18    Most of our communities in upstate New York do 

19    not have access to home care workers because of 

20    the low pay that they are given.

21                 To record road funding and road 

22    infrastructure, to broadband funding, including 

23    my legislation to repeal the right-of-way fee, to 

24    historic SUNY funding so that students in upstate 

25    areas and upstate colleges get real equity in 


 1    education.  To also property tax relief for 

 2    homeowners and working families and middle-class 

 3    families across our state.  

 4                 This is a budget that we can all be 

 5    proud of, because every person, no matter where 

 6    you live across New York State, is going to see 

 7    real, tangible impacts that will better their 

 8    lives for the future.

 9                 I want to thank the Majority Leader, 

10    I want to thank Senator Krueger, all of the 

11    staff, and everyone who has had a hand in 

12    creating this budget resolution, sending a full 

13    signal that no matter where you live, if you live 

14    in New York City, if you live in rural 

15    communities or you live in suburban communities, 

16    this is a budget resolution that speaks to you.

17                 For that, I vote aye.  Thank you.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

19    Hinchey to be recorded in the affirmative.

20                 Senator Borrello to explain his 

21    vote.

22                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you, 

23    Mr. President.

24                 Two minutes is a short time to 

25    discuss something as large as this one-house 


 1    budget, but I'll give it a shot here.  

 2                 You know, there's good things and 

 3    bad things, quite frankly, in this one-house 

 4    budget.  Good things like repealing -- finally 

 5    repealing the tax on fiber optic cable that the 

 6    Majority put in place two years ago and has 

 7    killed projects across New York State and really 

 8    set us back more than two years in rural 

 9    broadband.  It's eerily similar not only to the 

10    legislation of Senator Hinchey, which I also 

11    cosponsored, but the bill that I've had in place 

12    with Senator Helming for well over a year.  So we 

13    should have done this a long time ago.  So good 

14    and bad.

15                 We had an interesting addition of 

16    quarterly disbursements of an overtime tax credit 

17    for our farmers.  But the problem is we actually 

18    don't even know what this program is going to be, 

19    what it's going to require.  So the good part is, 

20    yes, quarterly would be great.  The bad part is 

21    we have no idea what strings will be attached to 

22    that.

23                 And finally, we are continuing to 

24    ignore the $9.3 billion deficit that we have in 

25    our Unemployment Insurance Fund.  Thirty-two 


 1    other states, 32 other states have committed 

 2    their federal funds to filling that hole, and we 

 3    are just continuing to kick that can down the 

 4    road, unfortunately.  So we're ignoring 9 billion 

 5    we owe and spending 9 billion more.  That's an 

 6    $18 billion swing in this one-house budget, as 

 7    far as I'm concerned.  

 8                 But what really is happening here is 

 9    that we are exhausting all the federal money, 

10    that one-shot money, and in essence creating 

11    recurring programs.  Those bills are going to 

12    come due.  

13                 And while I would love to sit here 

14    and vote one at a time on all the things I think 

15    are good and bad in this one-house budget, I only 

16    get one vote.  And therefore the responsible vote 

17    is to vote no.  

18                 Thank you, Mr. President.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

20    Borrello to be recorded in the negative.

21                 Senator Rath to explain his vote.

22                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you, 

23    Mr. President.  

24                 I have grave concerns with this 

25    budget resolution today.  The overspending 


 1    continues in New York State to the tune of 

 2    23 percent this year.  We actually were here last 

 3    year as well, and I had the same concerns.  This 

 4    type of out-of-control spending is totally 

 5    unsustainable.  

 6                 To be honest with you -- and to be 

 7    honest with all of my colleagues -- I don't think 

 8    spending is ever going to be cut from the 

 9    New York State budget.  So at the rate at which 

10    we are spending money in our state, I think 

11    New Yorkers can expect a steep increase in taxes 

12    at some point in the future.  

13                 This year the state is fortunate to 

14    have a great deal of one-time revenues -- 

15    one-time revenues that are not being 

16    appropriately spent or effectively spent across 

17    our state.  Instead of these one-time revenues 

18    being spent on investments, they're being spent 

19    on recurring expenses, recurring expenses, and 

20    that's something that is fiscally irresponsible.  

21                 We should be using these revenues to 

22    address key issues in New York State and make 

23    critical infrastructure investments.  Things like 

24    rural broadband, which affects dozens and dozens 

25    of districts across New York State.  


 1                 Despite this increase, this massive 

 2    increase in spending year over year, many upstate 

 3    initiatives are simply forgotten or passed over.  

 4    With so much new spending, it is hard to imagine 

 5    that there is so little being done in this budget 

 6    to lower residents' costs.  In fact, I would 

 7    argue that many of the policies outlined in 

 8    today's proposal will actually increase energy 

 9    costs as well as other costs on the residents and 

10    the businesses of our great state.  I have said 

11    this many times:  New York has an affordability 

12    crisis.  And this budget does nothing to remedy 

13    that affordability crisis.  

14                 In closing, it was said earlier 

15    today that this one-house proposal was crafted 

16    with hope and intelligence.  Although that sounds 

17    very nice, New Yorkers need a proposal that is 

18    crafted with confidence and vision, confidence 

19    and vision for the people of the State of 

20    New York.  That's what they need out of the 

21    State Senate and out of the State Legislature.  

22                 For these reasons, I'll be voting in 

23    the negative.  Thank you, Mr. President.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

25    Rath to be recorded in the negative.


 1                 Senator Stavisky to explain her 

 2    vote.

 3                 SENATOR STAVISKY:   Thank you, 

 4    Mr. President.  

 5                 And first, obviously we have to 

 6    thank our Majority Leader, Senator 

 7    Stewart-Cousins, and Senator Krueger for leading 

 8    us and answering the questions and being our 

 9    representative at the hearings.

10                 In 2011 I was sitting on the other 

11    side, and the state provided 46 percent of the 

12    cost of higher education -- 46 percent.  Last 

13    year, it was 32 percent.  And this budget finally 

14    reverses that trend.  It took 10 years, 

15    11 years -- it's really taken a lot longer -- but 

16    there's been a deliberate disinvestment and 

17    underfunding of higher education.  And this 

18    budget reverses that trend.

19                 For example, we're providing funding 

20    for CUNY and SUNY, for the community colleges, 

21    for the Opportunity programs.  For those of you 

22    who represent independent colleges, we're 

23    providing Bundy Aid, which goes for scholarships, 

24    and capital construction, HECap construction 

25    money.  


 1                 We're closing the TAP gap.  Last 

 2    year we said we'll do it in four years.  This 

 3    year we're closing it totally.  We are closing 

 4    the TAP gap, we're increasing the operating aid, 

 5    and we are trying to help the SUNY hospitals 

 6    because they have serious, serious problems.  We 

 7    are paying -- we are paying the debt on their 

 8    loans.  Every other state agency has their debt 

 9    paid for them.  The 67 million that we're 

10    investing here will help the SUNY hospitals 

11    thrive.

12                 And this is a budget that I think we 

13    can be proud of.  Proud.  It's a budget that is 

14    fair, it applies justice for all.  So, 

15    Mr. President, welcome back to our home, and I 

16    vote aye.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

18    Stavisky to be recorded in the affirmative.

19                 Senator Jackson to explain his vote.

20                 SENATOR JACKSON:   Thank you, 

21    Mr. President.

22                 My colleagues, I rise in support of 

23    the one-house resolution.  

24                 And let me tell you what -- the most 

25    important thing for myself and my constituents.  


 1    Their safety and security is number one.  And I 

 2    say to you, addressing gun violence in our state 

 3    and our municipalities is extremely important to 

 4    me and everyone else that I know.

 5                 Dealing with the mental health 

 6    issues.  We see it all in the paper, hear it on 

 7    the radio, on the news.  Absolutely must get it 

 8    under control.  

 9                 But I thank the leadership in this 

10    house for bringing forward the continuation of 

11    Foundation Aid for all schools -- not only New 

12    York City, but the entire State of New York.  

13    Childcare for all.  That is universal, and we 

14    need to have it.

15                 And we're dealing with the whole 

16    issue of healthcare.  CUNY, SUNY.  Come on, you 

17    know what it is.  Turn on the TAP to make sure, 

18    as Toby Stavisky mentioned.  We talked about 

19    addressing climate justice.  We can't wait for 

20    2050.  We must deal with that now.  And Fair Pay 

21    for Home Care.  I'll say it loud and clear, 

22    because that's how important it is.  People are 

23    screaming for this.  

24                 And not only that, but we talk about 

25    $5 million for PERB, the Public Employment 


 1    Relations Board, in order to deal with the 1950 

 2    you have to file in paper instead of filing on 

 3    the Internet.  Come on, this is 2020 {sic}, not 

 4    1950.  We need to address the issues of the 

 5    farmworkers and filing of papers and have people 

 6    and professionals there that can speak in the 

 7    primary language that most of the farmworkers 

 8    speak, in Spanish.  Broadband and so much more.

 9                 And let me just say we can't wait.  

10    The time is now.  I thank everyone for being 

11    involved with this, from the leadership on down, 

12    hearing my colleagues on the other side of the 

13    aisle, hearing my colleagues here.  But there's a 

14    lot more that we have to do, and this is it right 

15    now.  

16                 Thank you.  I vote aye, 

17    Mr. President.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

19    Jackson to be recorded in the affirmative.

20                 Senator Reichlin-Melnick to explain 

21    his vote.

22                 SENATOR REICHLIN-MELNICK:   Thank 

23    you, Mr. President.  

24                 You know, budgets are an expression 

25    of priorities.  And this budget expresses the 


 1    clear priority of the Senate that the State of 

 2    New York needs to be a place that works for 

 3    everybody and not just those who are wealthy or 

 4    well-connected.  

 5                 So I'm proud to vote aye on this 

 6    budget, and I want to thank the leader and 

 7    Senator Krueger and all of the staff who put 

 8    their time and effort into working to make this a 

 9    budget that we can all be proud of, because this 

10    is a budget that will work for regular 

11    New Yorkers.  

12                 We're finally fulfilling our 

13    commitment to fund our education systems, from 

14    pre-K through K-12 education, with a phase-in of 

15    Foundation Aid, all the way up to our colleges 

16    and our community colleges.  That is so important 

17    as we try to build a state that's going to work 

18    for everybody.

19                 It's also a budget that delivers 

20    real property tax relief to millions of 

21    New Yorkers through a $2.2 billion investment 

22    into property tax relief this year, on top of the 

23    circuit-breaker program that we've already got 

24    from last year's budget.  And it brings back 

25    income tax relief, accelerates that relief.  


 1    Because at a time when New Yorkers are facing 

 2    ever-escalating costs because of inflation, we 

 3    know we need to take action.

 4                 That's why the budget also includes 

 5    a partial suspension of the gas tax from May 1st 

 6    to December 31st.  Because we know that people 

 7    are feeling the pain at the pump, and the ones 

 8    who can least afford to pay that are the working 

 9    New Yorkers who are struggling to make ends meet.  

10    And so we are taking action on that.

11                 And at the same time, we're looking 

12    to our future.  We're raising the Environmental 

13    Bond Act proposed by the Governor up to 

14    $6 billion, because we know that if we don't take 

15    action on climate change now and spend that 

16    money, we're going to be paying far more down the 

17    line as the costs mount from that.  And so of 

18    that $6 billion, 4 billion of it is set aside to 

19    help combat the imminent dangers from climate 

20    change.  

21                 So we're proud of those investments, 

22    and we're proud of investments in the 

23    bread-and-butter stuff that we're doing for our 

24    local governments.  Increasing AIM funding for 

25    local governments for the first time in so long, 


 1    that's going to help our communities, it's going 

 2    to help our taxpayers, who are going to see some 

 3    of the burden taken off local taxpayers now that 

 4    the state is stepping up its support.  

 5                 So for all of these reasons, 

 6    Mr. President, I am proud to support this budget 

 7    and thank the Majority Leader for putting it 

 8    forward.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

10    Reichlin-Melnick to be recorded in the 

11    affirmative.

12                 Senator Hoylman to explain his vote.

13                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Thank you, 

14    Mr. President.  

15                 I rise in support of the Senate 

16    one-house resolution on the budget.  

17                 First, like my colleagues, I want to 

18    thank Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for setting 

19    forth the priorities here, and of course 

20    Senator Krueger for her thoughtful and focused 

21    defense of this budget resolution.

22                 You know, I want to make two points.  

23    One is that budgets are also moral documents.  

24    And I think this one-house resolution reflects 

25    the moral imperative we have as public officials 


 1    to really look after those who need help the 

 2    most -- the very young, our seniors, immigrants, 

 3    the homeless.  And the budget does that with all 

 4    the investments that you've heard today.

 5                 Secondly, I want to thank the 

 6    advocates, the hundreds of advocates, 

 7    Mr. President, who met us -- not in person 

 8    always, but sometimes on Zoom -- to make their 

 9    priorities clear.  I think this exercise is so 

10    emblematic of what representative democracy is 

11    about.  And I want to thank my colleagues for 

12    hearing so many voices even at the last minute, 

13    to make sure that their important needs were 

14    reflected in this Senate one-house.

15                 So, Mr. President, I couldn't be 

16    more proud to vote aye.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

18    Hoylman to be recorded in the affirmative.

19                 Senator Gounardes to explain his 

20    vote.

21                 SENATOR GOUNARDES:   Thank you, 

22    Mr. President.

23                 I know we've heard from lots of our 

24    colleagues this afternoon about how proud they 

25    are about this one-house resolution and how bold 


 1    and transformative it will be for the lives of 

 2    New Yorkers.  

 3                 And I want to add my voice to that 

 4    chorus, because what we are doing in this 

 5    document truly is incredible.  I mean, we could 

 6    spend days unpacking this resolution and talking 

 7    about all the great things in there.  But what I 

 8    want to focus on is the transformative 

 9    investments into CUNY and SUNY that we are 

10    making.  

11                 You know, we have been talking for a 

12    long time about the need to reverse decades of 

13    divestment and defunding of our public 

14    institutions of higher education, and this budget 

15    is going to really reverse those trends and give 

16    CUNY and SUNY the new deal that they so 

17    desperately deserve.  

18                 I mean, over the last decade a 20 

19    percent cut in state support for these 

20    institutions.  We've heard from students who have 

21    to choose between paying for textbooks or putting 

22    a meal on their table.  This will help stop that 

23    trend from happening.

24                 I'm also incredibly excited about 

25    our bold childcare proposal.  As the father of a 


 1    14-month-old, I know firsthand the impact that 

 2    having quality, affordable childcare has had on 

 3    my family, and I know the impact this will have 

 4    on millions of families across this state.  Truly 

 5    a remarkable thing that we can be advancing in 

 6    this one-house budget resolution.  And I know 

 7    that all of my colleagues are going to be joining 

 8    together to fight to make sure that that makes it 

 9    into our final enacted budget.  

10                 I can go on and on, Mr. President, 

11    but I just want to say that this is a great 

12    document, it's a great statement of our values, 

13    and it's a great day for New York if we can 

14    advance this through to the final budget.

15                 Thank you.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

17    Gounardes to be recorded in the affirmative.

18                 Senator Cooney to explain his vote.

19                 SENATOR COONEY:   Thank you, 

20    Mr. President.  I appreciate it.

21                 So many wonderful things have been 

22    said by my colleagues today, and I can't recount 

23    all of them, but I want to emphasize something on 

24    behalf of the many cities, towns and villages 

25    outside of the great City of New York, and that 


 1    is our historic and record investment by 

 2    increasing the aid to municipalities, or 

 3    unrestricted operating aid, by $210 million for 

 4    the first time since 2009.  

 5                 What does that do?  Well, as someone 

 6    who came from local government -- and I know many 

 7    of my colleagues also started their careers in 

 8    public service in local government -- what this 

 9    means is that city halls across New York State 

10    can focus on things like keeping libraries open a 

11    little bit longer, making sure that we have 

12    summer jobs for youth across New York State, 

13    making sure that our local law enforcement 

14    officers and EMS groups have operating dollars to 

15    keep us safe.  Making sure that this summer we're 

16    going to have a wonderful summer with time in the 

17    pool and lifeguards to take care of our youngest 

18    swimmers.  

19                 That's what this investment does.  

20    It invests in the quality of life that we have in 

21    cities across New York State.  And we've gone 

22    without for 13 years.  But this Senate says that 

23    stops now.  

24                 Now, this is a one-time investment 

25    in these cities, so we need to think bigger, we 


 1    need to think creatively going forward.  But I 

 2    want to thank our Majority Leader, I want to 

 3    thank our masterful Senate Finance chair, Liz 

 4    Krueger, to make sure that these conversations 

 5    continue moving forward.  And I look forward to 

 6    being part of those conversations.

 7                 Thank you.  I vote in the 

 8    affirmative.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

10    Cooney to be recorded in the affirmative.

11                 Senator Kavanagh to explain his 

12    vote.

13                 SENATOR KAVANAGH:   Thank you, 

14    Mr. President.  I also rise in support of this 

15    resolution.  

16                 I join my colleagues in thanking our 

17    leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, our great Finance 

18    chair, Liz Krueger, and especially all of the 

19    staff who've labored long and hard over this 

20    document for the past more than a month now.

21                 I join my colleagues in recognizing 

22    the many wonderful achievements of this 

23    resolution, and also those who have said that we 

24    need to work hard in the next few weeks to make 

25    sure that these achievements are delivered in the 


 1    enacted budget.

 2                 I'm especially pleased that we're 

 3    following through on our commitments on K through 

 4    12 education from last year and continuing to 

 5    meet our obligations to do that equitably with 

 6    lots of state funding.  I'm very proud to see 

 7    that we're funding the New Deal for both SUNY and 

 8    CUNY, including the Borough of Manhattan 

 9    Community College in my district.  

10                 Very great to see that we're doing 

11    $625 million for Fair Pay for Home Care, 

12    including a base wage for home care workers.  And 

13    very proud that we're including, for the first 

14    time, healthcare for people, primary healthcare 

15    for people who have been excluded from existing 

16    programs because of their immigration status.  

17                 And of course $6 billion in the 

18    Environmental Bond Act, and the All-Electric 

19    Building Act, which is a bill that I've put 

20    forward, are also included here and are great 

21    steps forward.  

22                 I just want to note there hasn't 

23    been a lot of talk about housing today.  And as 

24    the Housing chair I'd be remiss if I didn't note 

25    that this budget really is historic from the 


 1    perspective of housing.  We started with a really 

 2    transformative proposal from the Governor of a 

 3    $4.7 billion capital plan, and we are improving 

 4    upon it in the way that Senator Hinchey talked 

 5    about before, some great investments in rural and 

 6    small town and village programs that would really 

 7    help house folks there.  

 8                 We are following through on our now 

 9    two-year-long effort to blunt the impact of the 

10    COVID-19 pandemic with a billion dollars to 

11    backstop the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, 

12    with $250 million for the Landlord Rental 

13    Assistance Program and with $500 million in new 

14    money for the Homeowners Assistance Program.

15                 We are also funding for the first 

16    time a brand-new program looking forward, the 

17    Housing Access Voucher Program, which will 

18    ultimately be the most effective way we can end 

19    homelessness, which ought to be our goal, and 

20    make sure that we're keeping people in good, 

21    safe, permanent housing.

22                 We've got funding for code 

23    compliance, we've got funding for a brand-new 

24    Community Land Trust Acquisition fund.  The list 

25    goes on.  


 1                 But again, I am very proud that 

 2    we're taking this step forward.  This is arguably 

 3    the best budget that this state has put forward 

 4    for housing in decades, and I'm very honored to 

 5    support it today.  Thank you.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 7    Kavanagh to be recorded in the affirmative.

 8                 Senator Gianaris to explain his 

 9    vote.

10                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

11    Mr. President.  

12                 I am proud to stand up and support 

13    this budget proposal which fulfills the promise 

14    of New York values.  Universal childcare, the New 

15    Deal for CUNY and SUNY, pre-K that's expanded 

16    across the state, continuing increased funding 

17    for our schools.  Healthcare coverage for all.  

18    More protections for our tenants in this state.  

19                 Make no mistake, this is a budget 

20    that is a love letter to the working people of 

21    this state, who have been suffering for years due 

22    to disinvestment and lack of investment in the 

23    important priorities that they need.  

24                 And as we sit here encouraging 

25    people to get back to work, encouraging people to 


 1    get back to their offices after the pandemic, 

 2    providing the support people need to make that 

 3    happen is going to benefit all of this state.  

 4                 And to my colleagues on the other 

 5    side of the aisle who are against this, I would 

 6    simply ask, What are they voting against?  They 

 7    don't even have the usual canard that we're 

 8    raising taxes on too many people because we're 

 9    not raising taxes in this budget.  Never mind 

10    that those who have profited greatly during the 

11    pandemic should be asked to pay more.  We have 

12    the money where that's not even called for in 

13    this budget right now.

14                 And so those who are against 

15    universal childcare, more money for our 

16    institutions of both lower and higher education, 

17    greater healthcare coverage for the people we 

18    represent -- what exactly are you voting against?

19                 I proudly support this proposal.  I 

20    thank Leader Stewart-Cousins, I thank our Finance 

21    chair, Senator Krueger, and all my colleagues who 

22    participated in crafting what is a tremendous 

23    proposal, one of the best budget proposals I've 

24    seen in all my years in the Senate.  

25                 I proudly vote in the affirmative, 


 1    Mr. President.  

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 3    Gianaris to be recorded in the affirmative.

 4                 Senator Krueger to explain her vote.

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you, 

 6    Mr. President.

 7                 So I did talk quite a bit about this 

 8    resolution today, but I'm really standing up to 

 9    say thank you to all my colleagues, because this 

10    resolution grows out of weeks and weeks of budget 

11    hearings, where we sat and we listened to the 

12    people of New York State and we heard what they 

13    were telling us and what we needed to do for 

14    them, and then weeks and weeks of work with my 

15    chairs and with working groups and with the 

16    staff, trying to fine-tune what was realistic 

17    that we could do, what was aspirational that we 

18    might not accomplish in Year 1, but that we 

19    needed to shift the focus of how we were spending 

20    our money in New York State.

21                 And so I am incredibly proud of this 

22    piece of work, which is the beginning, the 

23    beginning bell for three-way negotiations for a 

24    final budget, but is also a reflection of the 

25    goals and the hopes and the dreams of 20 million 


 1    New Yorkers who tried to contact us to let us 

 2    know what they needed.

 3                 And I've also been here for 20 years 

 4    now, Mr. President, and I watched when I came in 

 5    and George Pataki was the governor, and we would 

 6    have budgets that we couldn't possibly afford but 

 7    the Republicans had a philosophy of borrow and 

 8    spend, borrow and spend.  And then Democrats came 

 9    back into power, and we were accused of taxing 

10    and spending.  But if you tax and spend, at least 

11    you're paying for what you're buying, as opposed 

12    to leaving it to the next generation.  

13                 So I don't mind when they tell me 

14    I'm a tax-and-spend Democrat because I'd rather 

15    tax and pay for it than borrow and leave it to 

16    the next generations to deal with it.  

17                 And then we ended up in periods 

18    where we just had borrowed so much from previous 

19    years that we had to reduce our budgets to levels 

20    that were really unsustainable to meet the needs 

21    of New Yorkers.

22                 So it does appear to be big jumps 

23    this year.  But I'm telling you, we have the 

24    money to do it.  And we're not stealing from our 

25    reserves, we're actually increasing our reserves 


 1    at the same time as we are increasing our 

 2    spending.  And we're cutting taxes, as was 

 3    discussed on the floor today -- property taxes, 

 4    income taxes, gas taxes -- while we're making 

 5    investments in the people of New York who need 

 6    our help the most.  

 7                 And you know what, Mr. President?  

 8    That will be returned to us tenfold by a future 

 9    that New York can be proud of, a future that your 

10    beautiful daughters can participate in as they 

11    grow up to be adults and become taxpayers in our 

12    society, and a state where people will want to 

13    come and stay and start businesses and do 

14    business.

15                 So I'm very proud of what this 

16    resolution represents, and I am so honored that 

17    our leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, gave me the 

18    position of Finance chair so that I could try to 

19    work to pull it all together for all of us.

20                 Thank you, Mr. President.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

22    Krueger to be recorded in the affirmative.

23                 Majority Leader Andrea 

24    Stewart-Cousins to close.

25                 SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   Thank you 


 1    so much, Mr. President.  

 2                 And I was just listening to our 

 3    great Finance chair, Senator Krueger, saying how 

 4    pleased she was that she has this responsibility.  

 5                 That's not what she says.  

 6                 (Laughter.)

 7                 SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   A little 

 8    moment of truth here.  

 9                 (Laughter.)

10                 SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   But -- 

11    but because at the end of all of what we do, we 

12    are able to stand here because of the work that 

13    you do, Senator Krueger and your great staff; 

14    because of the work that my deputy, Senator 

15    Gianaris, continues to do; an incredible 

16    conference that is working for New York every 

17    single day.  Because of that work, because of our 

18    staff, because of Shontell Smith and Eric Katz 

19    and counsel and David Friedfel and the Finance 

20    staff, because of Loren and External Affairs and 

21    Murphy and Communications -- because of all of us 

22    who understand that we stand here on behalf of 

23    the people of New York, and even the moments that 

24    it takes to get through this -- and certainly to 

25    my colleagues on the other side as well, for the 


 1    staff and the work that they do -- the time that 

 2    it takes to get to this moment where we can say 

 3    we have a one-house budget that reflects the 

 4    priorities of this entire state, is well worth 

 5    it.

 6                 I want to thank the Governor as 

 7    well, because we started from a place that we 

 8    don't normally start from.  And while we're going 

 9    back and forth about what's happening in this 

10    budget, the fact of the matter is that we started 

11    from a place that honored what we learned from 

12    what we've been dealing with in the past two 

13    years with this pandemic.  We all understood -- 

14    and that's what we understood last year and the 

15    year before -- where the breakage was in our 

16    compact as government to the people that we 

17    serve.  It was exacerbated by a pandemic that 

18    left us socially isolated, emotionally fragile, 

19    economically encumbered.  And we got a chance to 

20    look firsthand at where the fissures were and 

21    what could we do.  

22                 And we began that repair work, and 

23    we began it going from our pre-K investment to 

24    our Foundation Aid investment to our investment 

25    in our environment to investment in higher 


 1    education, we did transportation, we did housing, 

 2    we continued to look at the infrastructure of the 

 3    people.  So that when we do come back to a place 

 4    where we can get back to our jobs and get back to 

 5    our work, we're not still suffering from the same 

 6    uncertainties that we know exist.  

 7                 So that's why we invested record 

 8    amounts in childcare in this one-house budget.  

 9    And that's why we decided that we would indeed 

10    expedite the middle-class tax credits, that we 

11    would find our way to making sure that those who 

12    are caring for our most vulnerable are actually 

13    compensated properly, our home care workers.  We 

14    wanted to make sure that as we are addressing 

15    what has happened in our communities all over 

16    this state, that we find a way to make sure that 

17    people have what they need, and that includes 

18    this mental health investment that we know has to 

19    happen.  I mean, people are talking about a rise 

20    in crime in so many communities, including 

21    Westchester.  There actually has been a decline 

22    in crime.  But the fact of the matter is that any 

23    crime is too much.  

24                 But we have to take a look at what 

25    we can do to make sure that we are addressing the 


 1    needs properly, and that's why we've gone in with 

 2    mental health -- again, ensuring mental health, 

 3    giving proper beds, recreating more sustainable 

 4    supportive housing, looking at how we deal with 

 5    after-school, community school, investing in gun 

 6    violence prevention programs.  We are hitting so 

 7    many of the things that we know will make 

 8    New York stronger and more economically viable 

 9    and be able to support every single person in 

10    New York.

11                 When we talk about our small 

12    businesses, when we talk about looking at abating 

13    taxes, even at the gas pump, we are continuing to 

14    make New York a better place to be.

15                 So this is -- and I heard somebody 

16    say this is aspirational, yes.  But it's 

17    aspirational not for us.  It's not aspirational 

18    for the people who have worked so hard to make 

19    sure that people's needs are met.  It's 

20    aspirational for the people of New York State, 

21    because they want to make sure that as their 

22    taxes are down, as their communities are made 

23    safer, that we are doing and addressing what they 

24    need not only now, but in the future.

25                 And yes, it's going to take more 


 1    money.  But the fact of the matter is we've 

 2    disinvested in our hospitals, we've disinvested 

 3    in our transportation system, we've disinvested 

 4    in our roads, we've disinvested in education, 

 5    we've disinvested in our children, we've 

 6    disinvested in the supports that people need when 

 7    things get rough in their lives.  We've 

 8    disinvested for decades.  

 9                 And so today we stand and we say we 

10    are reinvesting in the people of New York.  We 

11    are reinvesting in a future.  We are reinvesting 

12    in an ideal that New York will continue to be 

13    progressive, it will continue to be pragmatic, it 

14    will continue to lead the way, not only in this 

15    recovery but in advancing what we as government 

16    can do with our people and for our people.  

17                 I vote aye.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Majority 

19    Leader Stewart-Cousins to be recorded in the 

20    affirmative.

21                 Announce the results.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

23    Senate Resolution 2081, those Senators voting in 

24    the negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, 

25    Boyle, Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, 


 1    Martucci, Mattera, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, 

 2    Palumbo, Rath, Ritchie, Serino, Stec, Tedisco and 

 3    Weik.

 4                 Ayes, 43.  Nays, 20.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 6    resolution is adopted.

 7                 Senator Gianaris.

 8                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 9    if we could briefly return back to motions and 

10    resolutions.  

11                 On behalf of Senator Savino, on 

12    page 39 I offer the following amendments to 

13    Calendar 657, Senate Print 5768, and ask that 

14    said bill retain its place on Third Reading 

15    Calendar.  

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

17    amendments are received, and the bill retains its 

18    place on the Third Reading Calendar.  

19                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Is there any 

20    further business at the desk?

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   There is 

22    no further business at the desk.

23                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Move to adjourn 

24    until tomorrow, Tuesday, March 15th, at 

25    11:00 a.m.


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   On 

 2    motion, the Senate stands adjourned until 

 3    Tuesday, March 15th, at 11:00 a.m.  

 4                 (Whereupon, the Senate adjourned at 

 5    5:37 p.m.)