FY 2023-2024 Final State Budget

The New York State Budget was finalized today, a month after its April 1 due date.  The Governor announced that she had reached the framework of the budget deal with the Senate and Assembly late in the day on April 27. Thile the framework was announced, we did not see the final budget bills until last night and today. Now that the bills are available, the Senate and Assembly are in the process of passing them. We anticipate that the final votes will be taken at some point tomorrow.

As noted, the deadline for an on-time budget was April 1.  After it became clear the budget would not be done in time, and could disrupt State worker payrolls, the Legislature passed an initial short-term extender on April 3 that kept New York State government funded through April 10.  Subsequently, five more extenders were passed to keep funding New York State government as budget negotiations continued and final votes get taken.

The delay in the budget was caused by some high-profile proposals, including changes to bail reform, the Governor’s proposed housing plan, and changes to minimum wage. In the end, the final spending level for the budget is $229 billion, which is a $2 billion increase from the Governor’s initial proposal, and a $9 billion increase over last year’s budget.

Here are many of the key issues contained in the final budget:

Criminal Justice Reforms

There are several criminal justice reforms included in the final budget. One of the most high- priority issues to come out of the Governor’s proposed budget were changes to the bail reform law that would include no longer requiring judges to impose the “least restrictive” standard in determining whether a criminal defendant should be released or held on bail in cases that are bail eligible.  This issue held up budget talks for weeks, but the final budget includes the Governor’s language giving judges more discretion to set bail.  Additionally, the final budget includes language that will make it easier to shutter unlicensed black-market cannabis shops that have opened throughout the state.

Minimum Wage

The final budget includes a minimum wage increase from $15/hour to $17/hour, with future increases tied to inflation. Progressives in the Legislature wanted to see the minimum wage increase to $21.25/hour, and then have increases tied to inflation. The Governor had originally proposed linking future increases to inflation but did not include plans to raise the base minimum wage first. The downstate wage will increase to $16/hour next year and will hit $17/hour in 2026. Upstate, where the current minimum wage is $14.20/hour, we will see the minimum wage hit $15/hour in 2024 and then have $.50 increases annually until reaching $17/hour.


The Governor’s proposed increase on the cigarette tax made it into the final budget. Cigarette taxes will go from $4.35 per pack to $5.35 per pack. Additionally, the final budget includes a three-year extension on the corporate tax hike that was imposed at the start of the pandemic. The final budget also includes an increase to the MTA payroll tax for large New York City businesses, which is expected to provide more than $1 billion annually for the transit system.  This is narrower than the Governor’s original proposal, which would have seen the MTA payroll tax increase across the entire MTA region.


The Governor’s original proposal sought to eliminate the cap on charter schools in New York City.  This was met with fierce resistance, but the final budget will allow for 14 new charter schools in New York City by reviving “zombie licenses,” which were permits awarded to schools that closed. The final budget also includes funding for free meals for school children throughout the State.

Environmental Policy

The final budget also includes a ban on the use of natural gas in new buildings beginning at the end of 2025. Additionally, the budget will allow the New York Power Authority to build and own solar and wind projects. The budget also creates the regulatory framework for the State to implement a “cap-and-invest” program, which will charge businesses based on their annual emission levels.

Now that the budget is done, we will pivot to the non-budget end of session issues. The last scheduled day of the session is Thursday, June 8, and there is a lot of work to be accomplished between now and then. The next few weeks will be extremely busy, and we will be in touch about next steps regarding your legislative priorities. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Share this post: