On Friday, April 1, Governor Cuomo and Legislative Leaders announced an agreement on a final state budget totaling approximately $147 billion dollars. Built-in to the agreement were several hot ticket items including Paid Family Leave, $15 minimum wage, and an increase in school aid. Not included, however, was much for heart-healthy programs like the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, CPR in School implementation, or Bike/Pedestrian funds for Complete Streets.
While we didn’t receive as much funding as we would have liked, we were able to secure $500,000 in funding for the Healthy Food/Healthy Communities fund, which will help locate grocery stores, mobile markets, farmers markets, etc. in low-to-moderate income areas of the state, which would normally have trouble accessing healthy, affordable food. We are extremely grateful to Senator Funke for his commitment and dedication to this issue as we would have not been able to secure the funding without him.
Another positive in the agreement is that Legislative Leaders maintained current 2015-2016 levels for Tobacco Control, Hypertension and Obesity Prevention Programs and we look forward to working on these initiatives over the next year.
Stay tuned to find out what we are working on post-budget!