January 23, 2022 District Letter

This past Thursday (January 20), the administration presented its proposed budget for the fiscal year that will run from July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023. The House Finance Committee and Senate Finance Committee (on which I serve) will vet the Governor’s budget over the next five months, with the goal of adopting and approving a legislative budget to send to the Governor for signature. The legislative budget typically uses the Governor’s budget as a starting point, but often includes significant modifications.

To help interested readers follow the State’s review and passage of the 2022-23 budget, I have prepared a web page containing various budget documents. The page currently includes the “budget books” prepared by the administration in connection with its presentation of the budget, and the Department of Treasury’s Final Rule, which governs the use of the American Rescue Plan Act funds incorporated into the budget. I will update this page as additional information becomes available. 

As the administration presented in its Budget Overview, the Governor’s budget groups revenues and expenditures in the following categories:

$11 billion (approximately) for a “traditional” budget of revenues and expenditures that fit within the general framework of prior years’ budgets (excluding the extraordinary federal pandemic relief of the past two years);

$1.1 billion for federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) “State and Fiscal Recovery Fund” dollars (including the $113 million “down payment” approved on January 4);

$112 million in ARPA “Capital Projects Fund” dollars;

$618.4 million surplus from last year’s budget.

These last three categories of revenue (totaling around $1.9 billion) are for this year only; therefore, the Governor has stated that his budget expends those funds for either immediate pandemic relief or for long-term investments that will not create or entail future obligations to burden future “traditional budgets.”

The Senate is in its early days reviewing this budget, and I will look forward to the help I receive from the Senate Fiscal Office. I also have begun my own review of these complex documents, and I will share with you in future letters my views concerning the shape of the budget and possible areas for improvement. In the meantime, I invite you to send me an email with your thoughts and suggestions about the budget or other State issues. In this way, I can help keep you informed, and you can help me do a better job.

While I no longer serve on the City Council, I would like to commend my successor Helen Anthony for defusing a difficult confrontation between the City Council President and the Mayor concerning a vaccination mandate for police officers. Through her efforts, the City Council avoided an immediate vote on a possibly illegal ordinance that would have attempted to restrict the Mayor’s authority to enforce the mandate, choosing instead to review the matter through the “regular order” of the committee process. Councilwoman Anthony keeps me and other constituents informed through her newsletters. You can join her list by emailing her at helen@helenanthony.com .