Heard Around Town

Upcoming city, state budgets turn eyes to asylum-seeker dollars

Both Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams are releasing their respective budget proposals for the coming fiscal year Tuesday.

Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York Mayor Eric Adams

Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York Mayor Eric Adams Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

From Staten Island to Schenectady, the Bronx to Buffalo, it’s shaping up to be a big day for budget nerds across the state of New York.

Both Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams are releasing their budgets Tuesday – a scheduling headache and swipe at transparency that will nonetheless offer some important information about how both administrations view their respective priorities and budgetary challenges in the coming fiscal year. 

It’s unclear to what extent the state and city budgets will work in harmony, but when it comes to Hochul’s executive budget, all eyes will be on any funding and solutions to New York City’s eye-popping spending on services for asylum-seekers. The city’s spending on shelter and other services for tens of thousands of asylum-seekers in the last year-and-a-half has widened existing budget gaps – a situation that the Adams administration says has forced multiple rounds of citywide budget cuts in the absence of significant federal funding. 

In its last budget and in the months following, the state has earmarked about $2 billion to assist in New York City’s migrant response. But Hochul largely ignored the topic of asylum-seekers out of her State of the State address last week, despite the precarious living situations for tens of thousands of migrants in the city and the city’s own budget concerns. The governor said only that she would speak more about the issue in her budget address Tuesday. “To date, Albany has failed to meaningfully aid the City with its legal and moral obligation to provide shelter to all who seek it,” the Legal Aid Society said in a statement responding to Hochul’s State of the State last week. “With more new arrivals coming to New York daily, lawmakers must appropriate the funds and resources needed for the Adams Administration to meet this moment and safeguard our clients’ safety and well-being.”