Now that the budget is done, I wanted to provide you with an update on how the Heart Association fared.
I am happy to announce that, thanks to all of your help, we were able to secure $200M in funding for the creation of the Empire State Trail!!! This is a huge accomplishment and I want to acknowledge all of you for your continued support to this important initiative.
Unfortunately, the budget did not include funding for Healthy Food Access and it also removed Article XII language to include e-cigarettes in the Clean Indoor Air Act. Public health programs also took a hit, with a reduction of hypertension program funding by 20%.
This was a tough year in terms of competing interests and not much money. The hot topic issues included Ride Sharing legislation, Raise the Age initiatives, free SUNY tuition and funding for charter schools. Although we saw cuts in some areas, we should be proud that we were able to secure the Empire State Trail funding, which will surely help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke amongst New Yorkers for generations to come by providing a safe, open space to engage in physical activity!