ALBANY – Leaders in New York have reached a “conceptual agreement” to pass the state’s budget.
The budget remains several days overdue, and some issues remain a topic of discussion like funding excluded workers. That includes undocumented immigrants and those recently released from incarceration.
Advocates marched down the state Capitol concourse on Monday, calling for a $3.5 billion fund for excluded workers to be included in the state budget. Some of them have been on a hunger strike for 21 days.
“It is not lost on me that I received multiple stimulus packages, that I received a multitude of pandemic assistance in unemployment insurance, and I know that that money came from their taxes, too,” said Josh Pacheco.
The Fund Excluded Workers Coalition says the money would help about 275,000 excluded workers, and the group wants the money to be accessible.
“These folks have not received any money for over a year. They have families, and they have children to feed. They are tired of asking,” said NYS Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes.
Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt has spoken out against the fund saying in a statement, “… As New York families and businesses fight for their physical and economic well being, Democrats are raising taxes and using your federal stimulus dollars to enact a radical agenda rather than helping veterans, small main street businesses, teachers and senior citizens.”
Reporters have not heard directly from the Governor on the issue.
The State Comptroller’s Office has said if a state budget is not adopted by Monday there could be a delay for 39,000 state workers’ paychecks.
So far, one budget bill, the debt services bill, has passed. It’s not clear when lawmakers plan to pass the rest of the budget.