Highlights from the NYS 2022-2023 Executive Budget

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Earlier in April the New York State Legislature and Executive approved the 2022-2023 State Budget of $220 billion. The Executive Budget includes increased funding for the Department of State’s (DOS) programs that support community development such as the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, NY Forward, Brownfield Opportunity Area, Smart Growth Planning, the Environmental Protection Fund, and Local Waterfront Revitalization Initiative. 

Here are some highlights from the Economic Development Programs:

  • Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) will continue to play a key role in regionally-driven strategies for economic growth.
  • The Budget includes core funding of $225 million in grants and tax credits to fund high value regional priority projects to be made available throughout the year.
  • A robust package of workforce development initiatives (up to $350 million) is also included.
  • Downtown and community revitalization initiatives (up to $450 million) will continue to be coordinated with REDC-driven economic development strategies where appropriate.
  • The Executive Budget provides $100 million for another round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
  • Additionally, to support a more equitable recovery across New York’s rural communities, the State will create and invest in the NY Forward program, designed to help smaller downtowns. The Executive Budget includes $100 million for the rural and smaller communities. Like the DRI program, NY Forward communities will be selected in partnership with the REDCs. The Department of State (DOS) will lead the community through an abbreviated planning process to develop a slate of readily implementable projects.
  • ConnectALL initiative will invest in digital infrastructure, catalyzing over $1 billion in new public and private investments.
  • The Executive Budget also includes $250 million for a revitalized Restore New York program to rehabilitate vacant, abandoned, condemned, or surplus properties.

To learn more, visit https://www.budget.ny.gov/pubs/archive/fy23/ex/index.html

NY Forward Rapid Test Program and the Excelsior Pass Speed Up Reopening

New York State has expanded low-cost rapid testing while continuing to ramp up vaccinations, and has launched the Excelsior pass, a secure application for storing test results and vaccination status that will enable New Yorkers to attend events such as wedding receptions, arts and entertainment venues as well as sports stadiums and arenas. Notably however, the Excelsior pass is not mandatory: New Yorkers may opt to either use the Excelsior pass or alternatively show original records of a negative Covid test (taken within 72 hours of the day of the event) or a CDC vaccination card. Read full guidelines here.    

NY Forward Rapid Test Program lists all the vaccination sites where New Yorkers can get a rapid test for $30 with the results delivered within 30 minutes. Note that even individuals who do not experience symptoms or have not had a recent exposure to Covid-19 can use these sites to get a rapid test. Most of these facilities are however located downstate.

The Excelsior Pass enables New Yorkers to have their test and immunization records digitized and stored in one place for convenience of use when gaining access to venues. To get the pass, New Yorkers must register at https://epass.ny.gov, and once their identity is verified, they can either download the Excelsior Pass Wallet or print the Excelsior Pass – its QR code will be scanned by venues to allow entry at events. Participating businesses may download the Excelsior Pass Scanner at https://forward.ny.gov/excelsior-pass-business. Its use is free and will facilitate the reopening of venues and businesses in New York.

New York State Council on the Arts has hosted a series of presentations and demos to specifically assist art organizations in integrating both rapid testing and the Excelsior Pass into their programs and daily activities. To learn more, visit https://arts.ny.gov/resources/NYSCA-PRESENTS.