Since the Senate and Assembly budget proposals came out this weekend we’ve been busy going through the details.
Even though the Senate and Assembly proposals both fall short of the $5 billion that our families, child care providers and communities needed, they still provide a downpayment that is crucial for our state. The $3 billion proposed investment would be critical for New York’s families and providers, and would lay the groundwork for a universal child care system in the near future. Email Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie now and tell them the final budget must include not a penny less than the $3 billion in the one house proposals for child care! We need this investment to give more families affordable access to child care and to help program providers and educators be closer to a living wage.
But at this moment in time— as the details of the final budget are now being decided —the most important takeaway is that both the Assembly and the Senate recognize that New York State needs far stronger investment in child care than what Governor Hochul proposed. Now, we need our state leaders to ensure that every dollar for child care in the one house budgets will remain in the final budget.
The final budget is a three-way negotiation between the Governor, the Speaker and the Majority Leader. We need Governor Hochul to follow the lead of Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie on child care, and ensure that their $3 billion investment in children and families is the baseline for negotiations in the enacted state budget. Email them now!
Budgets are about priorities. This is not a question of whether New York has the money for universal child care — it’s about whether we have the political will to spend it on meeting the urgent needs of New York’s families and communities, instead of building sports stadiums, giving it away to businesses and corporations, or stashing it away in a rainy day fund. The leaders of both the Assembly and the Senate have shown they do have that will with their own budget proposals. Will Governor Hochul decide to stand in the way, or will she put children and families first?
The importance of prioritizing our children has never been more obvious than it is at this moment. Creating a universal child care system for New York is both popular and necessary. The Senate and Assembly have shown that they are ready to get us there. But the investments they proposed will change nothing unless they are part of the enacted budget. We need to fight hard to ensure that the enacted budget includes these major investments for our children and families, and the child care workforce. Email Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie now and tell them we need not a penny less than the $3 billion they proposed in the final budget for child care.