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New York lawmakers approve $237 billion state budget. Here's what it includes.

NYC authorities are getting more power to shut down illegal pot shops
NYC authorities are getting more power to shut down illegal pot shops 02:41

NEW YORK -- New York lawmakers approved a $237 billion state budget Saturday.

In a series of posts on X, Gov. Kathy Hochul highlighted parts of the budget, adding, "We got all of this done without raising income taxes by a single cent."

The budget was finalized about three weeks after its April 1 deadline.

What is in the New York state budget?

Here's some of what the state budget includes:

The state Senate and Assembly finished working through the state's several budget bills on Saturday after hours of debate. The spending plan now moves to Gov. Kathy Hochul to be signed into law, which she is expected to do.

Shutting down illegal pot shops in NYC

Lawmakers moved to address the explosion of unlicensed cannabis storefronts in New York City. Bureaucratic hurdles have made it difficult for the state to shut down the shops.

To help solve the problem, the budget includes policies that would allow local law enforcement to padlock shops accused of selling marijuana without a license. The shops would be forced stay closed throughout the subsequent legal process.

"You can appeal the fine. You'll get your due process, but while the due process plays out, the padlock stays on," Hochul said.

Previously, most enforcement could only be done by the state, and such stores were able to stay open while a lengthy appeals process played out.

Hochul has said the illegal pot shops across New York City are hurting legitimate dispensaries, which -- unlike unlicensed shops -- contribute to the state's 13% marijuana sales tax.

"I mean, you know, the state want to get their money. They want to get their tax dollars, so we're here and they're collecting tax dollars from us, so they don't want the other shops around," said Darius Conner, manager of Smacked Village.

Everything in Smacked Village is tightly regulated and made in New York.

"People want to know what they're smoking, what they're consuming," Conner said.

Below market-priced apartments in new N.Y. buildings

The negotiations, which were conducted in private between the governor and top legislative leaders, largely hinged on a sweeping proposal to jumpstart the state's housing market.

The plan gives a tax break for developers who agree to offer a portion of apartments in new buildings for prices that are below market price and includes a wage standard for laborers on those projects.

The state had a similar tax break, but it expired in 2022. Hochul and other supporters have long argued such an incentive is a vital lure for development, though critics have argued it is too costly and favorable to developers.

As part of the housing deal, progressives also got long sought-after legislation that would provide some tenants with protections against unreasonable rent increases and evictions, though it was not as comprehensive as many advocates had wanted.

Some housing advocates complained about the tax break offered for developers.

"Governor Hochul did not solve the housing crisis – instead she pushed through a housing deal written by the real estate industry to ensure they keep getting richer off the backs of hardworking tenants," Cea Weaver, the coalition director for Housing Justice for All, said in a statement.

Mayoral control of New York City Public Schools

New York City Mayor Eric Adams had originally pushed for a four-year extension of mayoral control of city schools, but lawmakers opted for a shorter two-year extension, taking into consideration the fact that Adams' term is up in 2025.

In a statement Saturday, Adams thanked the governor and the Legislature for "delivering for our students and allowing me and Chancellor Banks to continue to provide bold and necessary programs for the betterment of our children."

The statement continued:

"We will continue to partner with the nearly 1 million students, their families, my colleagues in government, the unions representing school personnel, and the entire New York City community to provide an education system free from bureaucracy and one that allots them the certainty they deserve, provides historic investments in our schools, and changes the way we approach learning in New York City."

New York City's mayor has been in control of the school system, including picking the schools chancellor, since 2002 when then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg convinced the state Legislature to enact the policy. Since then, there have been improvements in graduation rates, as well as reading and math scores.

The extension of mayoral control comes just weeks after an evaluation by the state education department found parents and teachers feel left out of decision-making in schools. Adams criticized the report.

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