Assembly member Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster/Dutchess) reported that the New York State Budget includes several measures that will directly help communities in our area.
Specific support includes $151,667 for the Legal Services of the Hudson Valley allowing them to continue providing low or no cost services to individuals in need, as well as an additional $130,000 in funding specifically for their Veterans and Military Families Advocacy Project and $90,000 for their Domestic Violence Project. The Agri-Business Child Development program, which has two centers in Kingston and New Paltz respectively, received $8,775,000 in total funding.
The Benjamin Center of the State University of New York at New Paltz has been appropriated $100,000 in dedicated funds for additional services and expenses related to its science lab initiative - a technology education partnership among the Benjamin Center, local school districts and the Office of Assemblymember Cahill. The program, which brought over $2 million to several local districts, develops science and technology labs. With continued State support, the ongoing program has significantly enhanced the educational experiences for all students but particularly young women who have been underrepresented in traditional science elective programs.
The legislature was also successful in limiting harmful cuts to public libraries throughout the state, restoring $2.5 million in funding. “In the Hudson Valley, libraries serve as the heart of our towns and villages. People often travel by foot and others may need to get there by car, but either way their centralized locations make them accessible to all residents and places for our community to come together,” said Assemblymember Cahill.
In response to the concerns from our municipalities regarding the desperate need for upstate roadway repair and maintenance, the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIP) received funding of $438.1 million and $65 million designated for Extreme Winter Recovery Assistance.
Monies that will assist in revitalizing our local economy include $2,673,200 in funding toward SUNY Small Business Development Centers, $2,000,000 in Smart Growth Grants made available to municipalities in support of community rejuvenation and $9,000,000 for waterfront revitalization projects pertinent to many of our Hudson Valley Communities.
The State University of New York New Paltz received $4,594,000 for campus-wide maintenance projects. Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan & Ulster will receive $20,000 in funding for some of the secular activities they provide to our region.