March 14, 2023
CONTACT: Mariah McGough, firstname.lastname@example.org
VOCAL-NY APPLAUDS NYS SENATE AND ASSEMBLY FOR PRIORITIZING HOUSING AND OVERDOSE PREVENTION IN BUDGET PROPOSALS
After Weeks of Advocacy in Albany, State Lawmakers Heard Concerns and Addressed Them in Their One-House Budget Proposals
NEW YORK — Today, in response to the release of the Senate and Assembly One-House Budgets, VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to Jawanza Williams, Director of Organizing:
“State lawmakers and their budget proposals illustrated leadership where Governor Hochul’s budget failed. The legislature clearly has the political will and courage to put the demands of everyday New Yorkers first with solutions rooted in care — rather than rhetoric and failed policies.
We’re thrilled to see funding for the Housing Access Voucher Program and Rest of State AIDS Housing that will begin to address New York’s ever-worsening housing and homelessness crisis. We also saw lawmakers omit draconian language in their budgets that was reminiscent of the Rockefeller drug laws, and instead use Opioid Settlement Funds to support evidence-based solutions — like the Senate inserting funding for Overdose Prevention Centers. There’s promising language included to support Daniel’s Law, a policy that will limit interactions with law enforcement for people experiencing a mental health crisis. The legislature also was correct in rejecting Governor Hochul’s proposal to gut bail reforms by providing judges with unfettered justification for racial discrimination in bail setting and incentivizing pretrial incarceration.
We are counting on state lawmakers to hold the line on these proposals going into final budget negotiations. The countless New Yorkers facing homelessness, criminalization, the overdose crisis, and HIV/AIDS are depending on it.”
Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget failed to include meaningful funding for overdose prevention centers, and supportive housing vouchers – instead including language that would further criminalize New Yorkers.
Since then, VOCAL-NY leaders and members have met with lawmakers and rallied in Albany to fight for policies that will support low-income, Black, Brown, and marginalized New Yorkers be included in one-house budgets. See the full list of VOCAL-NY’s budget demands here.