BUFFALO, NY (WNY News Now) — On Monday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced how the 2024 Executive Budget will be spent in Western New York.
With this budget, the Governor hopes to expand affordable housing, and expand economic opportunity and innovation in the region.
Hochul notes that naming the University at Buffalo as the state’s flagship institution will serve to attract companies to the area in order to hire graduates.
“100 million dollars in new and renovated research buildings, laboratories, and new state of the art instrumentation right here at the University of Buffalo,” says Hochul.
Allowing the university to expand their research will bring more federal research funding to the area, and therefore more jobs. An additional 24 million dollars will be spent on campus wide maintenance projects.
The Governor also announced a plan to expand housing for all income levels in the area.
“That’s why I announced something called the New York Housing Compact, and my goal is to build over 800,000 homes over the next decade,” says Hochul. “I believe we can do it, there are so many different ways we can achieve this.”
This, in part, will be accomplished by converting old schools, malls, and office buildings that are no longer in use to housing. The state will invest an initial 250 million dollars for this infrastructure.
Public safety, according to Hochul, must be addressed before bringing new workers and housing to the state.
“We’ve done a lot to deal with violent crime, we’ve strengthened our gun laws, we’ve been working closely with local leaders and we’re starting to see results. But I’m gonna keep investing, 337 million dollars to help reduce gun violence statewide,” promises Hochul.
The budget will also address capital projects, school and foundation aid, parks and regional assets, water infrastructure, funding for Feedmore, capital investments at community colleges including Jamestown, and funding for storm response.
“We are announcing today, mayor, 10 million dollars for the city to have an office of recovery and planning. Support your efforts to have a consolidated public works/storm response facility. So we’re gonna help you with your fleet improvements and upgrades so we’re ready for the next big one,” says Hochul.
One billion dollars will be spent to transform the state’s mental health care system which will be put towards increasing beds in psychiatric hospitals, and services to transition people back into their daily life. An additional 41 million dollars will be allotted to support addiction services and $840,000 towards veteran services.