Statement from LIUNA’s Michael Hellstrom on the New York State FY24 Budget: Work Remains to be Done  

Following today’s vote on the FY24 New York State budget, LIUNA Vice President and Eastern Regional Manager Michael Hellstrom released the following statement

“In addition to being a financial plan, state budgets outline priorities. In January, Governor Hochul laid out a bold vision rooted in supporting New Yorker’s most basic needs: housing, public safety, and family-sustaining wages. While progress was made in a few areas, today’s vote on the final budget agreement falls short of adequately addressing the challenges New Yorkers are continuing to face.

“Our union firmly believes housing is a human right, and the most pressing need for a majority of New Yorkers – making the Housing Compact a welcome policy for us. After working diligently to inject labor standards and secure a New York City community hiring policy as a part of the Compact, we’re disappointed it was not included in the final budget, but we know the Governor and legislature remain committed to addressing this vital issue long-term. Together, we can build for New Yorkers the affordable housing they so desperately need while ensuring it also spurs career opportunities in the unionized construction industry.

“On the bright side, this budget cycle did offer some good news. LIUNA is proud to have worked on raising the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation. The wage increase voted on today is a start to addressing the wage injustice that harms minimum wage workers and their families. 

“We look forward to working through the end of the legislative session on these priorities, and well as many others. We trust that with the leadership of Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Heastie, we will find a path forward that continues addressing the needs of working people in New York.”