TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the 2023 budget for New York, and Central New York representative Colleen Deacon visited the History Center in Tompkins County Tuesday afternoon to detail its impacts on Tompkins County.

In line with focus areas of healthcare, childcare and COVID-19, $585 million is planned for COVID-19-related relief for families and businesses, and $250 million for small businesses’ expenses related to pandemic efforts like social distancing and cleaning supplies.

Childcare programs across the state will be receiving $7 billion in funds to aid in the creation of 17,500 enrollment slots statewide, and the Southern Tier will see $125 million for full-day pre-K programs.

The State University of New York and the City University of New York systems will receive $531 for expanded campuses, more enrollment slots, associated costs and additional programs. “Access to affordable higher education makes a fundamental difference in the lives of our future leaders,” Hochul’s statement said. Financial aid will also be expanded for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP).

The Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) will be offering EOP. “As a campus, we aim to align the programs we offer with proven models of success, such as EOP. That said, we know EOP will benefit enrolled students and provide value for students who transfer after graduation. Ultimately, EOP allows us to build on the history of our mission to serve all students,” said Seth Thompson, student affairs and senior diversity officer at TC3.

The state’s plans for housing affordability and expanded transportation are allotted $25 billion and $32.8 billion, respectively, with goals of making overdue repairs to roads and bridges and expanding transportation options.

The state has allotted more than $11 million for addiction-related support, treatment, recovery and prevention efforts within the Southern Tier.

Increasing safety is another focus point, and stopping the cycle of repeat offenders, cracking down on gun trafficking and violence, protecting victims of domestic violence and hate crimes and investing in mental health are a few of the goals.

Rebuilding healthcare workforces will continue as COVID-19 remains a part of daily life, and adding to the teacher workforce is another goal, as well as creating additional well-paid and middle-class jobs.

The Environmental Protection fund will receive $4 billion, some of which will go work on Taughannock Fall State Park’s Rim Trail and Watkins Glen State Park’s bridge rehabilitation project.

Separate from the 2023 budget, Hochul announced Tuesday that an investment of $35 million will be made to support abortion providers in the state in anticipation of Roe v. Wade being officially overturned following the Supreme Court’s draft leak.

The Abortion Provider Support Fund, an entity created by the Department of Health, will allow providers to expand capacity and ensure access for patients needing abortion care. Hochul also announced that $10 million in grants through the Division of Criminal Justice Services will ensure reproductive health care center providers’ safety while providing care.

“New York has always been at the forefront of the fight for abortion rights, and as the first female Governor of New York, I will not let us go backwards,” Hochul said in a release. “I will never stop fighting to make New York a safe harbor for all who need care and a blueprint for other states to follow.

Zoë Freer-Hessler

Zoë Freer-Hessler is a general assignment reporter for the Ithaca Voice. She has covered a wide range of topics since joining the news organization in November 2021. She can be reached at zhessler@ithacavoice.com...