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House budgets are released—More work to be done over the next two weeks!

As the budget process continues in Albany, Advocacy wanted to provide you with an update on what is happening at the Capitol. 

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On Monday, March 13, the Assembly and Senate released their one-house budgets and in terms of what we wanted to see in them, we fared pretty well. Our successes are largely in part from your phone calls and emails to legislators’ offices, so a huge thank you to all of you who helped!

Here is what was proposed:

Successes:

  • The Assembly and Senate both rejected the Governor’s health program consolidation and restored them at level funding! This includes the Hypertension and Obesity Prevention programs.
  • The Assembly and Senate both provided language to include electronic cigarettes in the Clean Indoor Air Act!

 Partial Successes:

 The Assembly included funding for the Empire State Trail ($20M). The Governor originally proposed $75M, but $20M will still be a win for us.

  • The Assembly included funding for the Healthy Food, Healthy Communities Fund ($5M)

 Losses:

 Neither house increased Tobacco Control Program funding from $39M to $52M

As you can see, the next three weeks are instrumental in how the budget plays out and it is imperative that your legislators are hearing from you. If you are interested in scheduling an in-district meeting with your legislator to discuss these issues, please fill out this survey monkey tool so we can start scheduling your meetings with lawmakers: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PLSHWL5.

Every meeting helps tremendously and we have a lot of work left to do if we want to improve access to healthy foods and increase resources for New Yorkers to walk, bike and hike!

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