What the Governor’s Budget Means for Business
Governor Cuomo announced a $192.9 billion dollar state budget. The Governor’s budget proposal comes during a time in which there is a massive budget hole. Despite the budget constraints, the Governor has an aggressive budget proposal. Roughly, the state has an $5 billion current year gap and an anticipated $10 billion shortfall in 2022.
The Governor proposed 2 budgets: one with partial federal relief and one with total federal relief. This will determine how the state balances its budget. The Governor believes in a worst-case situation, NYS will receive $6 billion in federal support. In a best scenario, he anticipates $15 billion in federal aid.
One item the business community will need to be aware of is providing Paid Leave for COVID-19 vaccination. The Governor’s proposal requires public and private employers to provide up to four hours of paid leave. This is required for both a first and second vaccination. While the business community has an interest in having folks vaccinated, this legislation could add another burden on top of previous COVID restrictions.
Previously proposed were middle class tax cuts. The Governor’s budget would put these on hold for one year to be enacted in 2022.
Also, within the Governor’s budget is legalization of adult-use cannabis. While the Chamber of Commerce does not take an official stance on legalization, any proposal must clearly protect employers right to a drug free environment and allow for termination for a failed drug test due to the lack of an adequate impairment standard.
This proposal would create the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) within the Division of Alcohol Beverage Control. This organization would provide oversight to the cultivation, processing, manufacturing, distribution and sale of cannabis. Municipalities with 100,000 or more residents have the opportunity to opt out of the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Another revenue raiser in addition to marijuana legalization is the legalization of mobile sports betting. The Gaming Commission will select eligible platform provider, to be done through a bidding process. This is anticipated to bring in $500 million in additional revenue to the State.
Also in the Governor’s budget proposal is an attempt to make internet service providers charge $15 dollars for broadband to low-income individuals.
Interestingly, the Governor is seeking to apply prevailing wage to renewable energy projects in the State. Prevailing wage drives up the cost of new construction. With the aggressive renewable energy goals put forward by the state, it seems odd to apply prevailing wage because this could slow down the amount of renewable energy projects.
If you have any questions about the Executive Budget Proposal feel free to reach out to Kyle Davis, the Government Relations and Public Policy Specialist at the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce – firstname.lastname@example.org.