State Budget a Win for Organized Labor and Working People
In addition to the renewable energy job standards detailed above, the newly-passed state budget includes several other important victories on behalf of working people. Among them:
Revenue: The budget includes ‘fair share’ revenue raisers that look beyond the one-shot federal aid coming into the state. Raising taxes on some of the wealthiest New Yorkers restores severe cuts to our health care system and turns around proposed cuts in education to make progress in responsibly funding our schools.
Adult-Use Cannabis: The legalization of adult-use cannabis provides the foundation for a new revenue and job-creating industry that will sustain our economy for generations. The legislation includes labor peace as an ongoing condition of licensure for cannabis businesses, as well as funding for a cannabis social and equity program that will assist communities’ transition into the new legalized market.
Child Care: The budget directs $2.3 billion in federal resources to help thousands of families navigate the challenges of accessing and paying for child care.
Creating New Industries, Enhanced Revenue, and Jobs: The budget includes a state-run system of legalized mobile sports betting and paves the way for three new casinos downstate which will generate more revenue and create solid middle-class jobs.
Broadband: The pandemic revealed the glaring need for increased broadband access for lower income New Yorkers who were unfairly isolated, particularly when schools went to remote learning. The budget includes more affordable broadband statewide.
Fighting the Pandemic: The budget includes a requirement that nursing homes dedicate a significant portion of their revenue into direct patient care with a substantial amount set aside to fund staffing levels more adequately. In addition, legislation that grants four hours of paid leave for all public and private sector workers to get their COVID vaccine passed earlier in the session.
COBRA: For workers in the entertainment industry who lost not only their jobs but also their health insurance; the budget includes $2 million in COBRA assistance— scroll down for more.