Final Budget Released; Includes Workers’ Compensation Reforms

Late Friday night, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Legislative leaders announced that an agreement had been reached on the final Fiscal Year (FY) 2017-18 State Budget. The remaining two bills, the Revenue Bill (aka “the Big Ugly”) and the State Operations Bill, were printed on Sunday.

The New York State Assembly adjourned this evening, shortly after the final Budget bill was introduced and passed, after 13 straight days in Session. The State Senate is scheduled to return to Albany on Sunday evening to pass the bills. Once the Budget is completed, the Legislature will adjourn for a two-week recess, returning to Albany on April 24.

The $153 billion Budget contains a number of widely publicized fiscal provisions, including a two-year extension of the State “millionaire’s tax,” increased school aid, middle-class tax cuts, tax abatements for affordable housing, and a program for tuition-free education at State colleges along with policy changes, such as raising the age of criminal responsibility for youthful offenders, and expansion of ride-hailing services outside of New York City.

The final Budget also gives the Governor flexibility to adjust the State Budget in the event of a significant loss of Federal aid. If Federal support is reduced by $850 million or more, the Division of Budget (DOB) is authorized to develop a plan to make uniform spending reductions. This plan would take effect automatically unless the Legislature passes its own plan within 90 days. Governor Cuomo has repeatedly expressed concerns about potential cuts to Federal Medicaid funding as the justification for this measure.

More information is available in the HCP News Alert from April 9, 2017

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