2019 New York State Budget Recap

On March 30, Governor Cuomo and the Legislature came to an agreement on the 2019 New York State budget. Since the State’s annual budget goes beyond making appropriations and can effectuate substantive changes in the law, City Bar committees often comment on budget provisions that are relevant to their work. While we are disappointed that the final budget did not include a number of provisions we supported, some committees were happy to see other provisions tabled. For those proposals we support, we look forward to building on the momentum that was generated during the budget process and working with our committees to achieve their enactment during the remainder of session. Here is a brief recap:

  • The Council on Judicial Administration supported the 2019 Judiciary Budget Request, including its inclusion of funding for civil legal services. The Judiciary Budget and civil legal services funding were adopted in full.
  • The Arbitration and International Commercial Disputes Committees issued a report opposing significant and what they viewed as problematic changes to New York’s regulation of arbitration proceedings. This provision was excluded from the final budget.
  • The Government Ethics & State Affairs Committee raised concerns over one proposal concerning sexual harassment in government, arguing that JCOPE and the Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC) are not equipped to handle such cases. The final budget did not give JCOPE or the LEC any enforcement over such cases.
  • The Corrections & Community Reentry Committee opposed increasing residency restrictions on sex offenders. This provision was excluded from the final budget.
  • The Civil Rights, Corrections & Community Reentry, Criminal Courts, Criminal Justice Operations and Juvenile Justice Committees supported bail reform, which would have eliminated monetary bail for misdemeanor and nonviolent felony charges, among other changes. This provision was excluded from the final budget.
  • The Election Law Committee called for the enactment of early voting to provide New Yorkers more flexibility when heading to the polls. This provision was excluded from the final budget.
  • The Sex & Law, Education & the Law  and Health Law Committees supported multiple provisions of the Women’s Agenda that seek to improve women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health policies and build healthy relationships. These provisions were excluded from the final budget.