Legislative leaders, governor reach ‘conceptual’ budget deal

New York state Capitol
New York state Capitol(Hans Pennink | AP)
Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 5:45 AM EDT
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ALBANY, New York (WWNY) - Twenty-seven days after its due date, a “conceptual agreement” has been reached on the $229 billion state budget.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday night the budget will make changes to bail reform laws, stripping away the least restrictive clause for more serious crimes. Essentially, judges will have more discretion on offenses that allow bail.

“They need to hold violent criminals accountable,” Hochul said, “while still upholding a criminal justice system that is fair and accessible to all.”

The budget also sets aside $1 billion to meet the state’s mental health needs. That includes creating 1,000 inpatient psychiatric beds and 3,500 units of supportive housing.

Not included in the budget is Hochul’s Housing Compact to build 800,000 homes over the next 10 years. She said she will be taking executive action in the coming weeks.

“”I believe major action is required to meet the scale of this crisis,” she said. “The legislature saw it differently. They’re not ready to commit to the kind of transformative change I proposed.”

Hochul also announced a minimum wage increase and a crackdown on illegal pot shops.

The conceptual budget will not be final until the Legislature votes on it, which is likely to happen next week.