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Young Invincibles’ Statement on New York State FY22 Budget

Contact: Juan Ramiro Sarmiento
(785) 760 6567 |

Young Invincibles’ Statement on New York State FY22 Budget

State lawmakers reject harmful budget cuts and increase support for programs young people need more than ever

(Albany, N.Y.) — On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature reached an agreement on the state’s $212-billion budget for Fiscal Year 2022.

In response, Marissa Muñoz, Northeast Regional Director for Young Invincibles issued the following statement on the FY22 budget and its impact on young New Yorkers:

“Young New Yorkers have faced unfathomable challenges over the last year — from living at the global epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, to losing loved ones, to risking their own health every day as frontline workers, and adjusting to distance learning. Despite these difficulties, young people have continued to show up and demand racial equity in our schools, our healthcare system, and our public budgets.

The budget released today demonstrates that lawmakers in the state Assembly and Senate heard New York’s young people. We applaud the state Legislature for rejecting several of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed cuts to higher education, including the Governor’s call to increase tuition at New York’s public colleges during the pandemic, and cut the state’s support for CUNY ASAP, a nationally recognized program that doubles graduation rates. We are relieved to see increased support for college access and success make it into the final budget, including an increase in foundation aid that will ensure that all students, regardless of zip code, receive a quality education. We also commend the Legislature for making affordable college a reality for more young New Yorkers by increasing the maximum award for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), and freezing tuition at CUNY and SUNY for three years. Finally, we commend the Legislature for investing in much-needed campus mental health services at New York’s public college, recognizing that students’ essential needs must be met if we want students to graduate and succeed.

The FY22 state budget represents a shift from a decade of austerity budgeting that harms Black, Latino, and working-class communities. It is also a critical starting point to ensuring ongoing investments in education and other programs that support the economic future of young New Yorkers by increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthy. New York must continue to step up and deepen its investment in young people. In order to ensure an equitable recovery from COVID-19, critical programs like the New Deal for CUNY, expanding health coverage for undocumented New Yorkers, and creating robust job programs for young people must be realized.

The enacted state budget is a step towards equity — but much more is needed to create a fair and just New York for all.”