December 27, 2021
Dozens of Democratic legislators in New York are pushing for a major new spending bill that would create a statewide fund for family support services, increase funds for preventing abuse and neglect, and universalize access to child care in the state.
For much of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decade-long tenure, the state budget process was an annual battle by child-serving agencies against funding cuts and program consolidations. But with a vocal advocate for families now in the governor’s office and the state in a stable financial position, lawmakers are seizing the moment to bundle a diverse range of services into a single piece of legislation — one that could drive the largest state allocation for children and families in years.
Last week, Queens Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi (D) and Brooklyn Sen. Jabari Brisport (D) called on Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) to use the next state budget to enact a three-part Children and Families Reinvestment Act that would develop community-centered approaches to family support, expand funding for existing child welfare and preventive programs, and create a universal child care system.
The total cost of the new bill has not yet been estimated, a spokesperson for Assemblymember Hevesi said.
“New York State’s children and families can come back stronger post-pandemic if we make the necessary investments in their future,“ wrote the lawmakers, each the chair of his chamber’s Committee on Children and Families, in a letter signed by 50 of their Democratic colleagues in the Legislature. “We are resolved to provide this foundation to ensure that our children are not doomed or defined by the trauma inflicted upon them.”