The Raise the Age Coalition applauds the New York State Senate and Assembly for supporting Governor Hochul’s proposals to make localized investments in communities hit hardest by the pandemic and related economic devastation, which is key to addressing the root causes of violence. The pandemic has compromised the safety and stability of families, highlighting and exacerbating existing inequalities and disproportionately impacting youth of color. New York’s children, youth and families have experienced enormous adversity and disruption. As we recover from the collective trauma of the COVID-19 crisis across New York and work to uproot systemic racism from our criminal legal system, this is the moment for a bold new vision for youth justice for more resilient and safer communities.
We are pleased to see that Senate and Assembly One House Resolutions make robust investments to lift incomes, promote housing security and expand access to community-based violence prevention and alternatives to incarceration. Furthermore, the Senate’s One House Budget Resolution would ensure that New York City can finally access state Raise the Age resources. As the budget negotiation process moves forward, the Governor and Legislature must endorse and build on these proposals by adopting language in the final budget that streamlines the process for implementation, making certain resources reach counties quickly to support direct service organizations led by and serving youth that are rooted in the community.
The FY23 One House Budget Resolutions are an acknowledgment that in order to make our communities safer it is imperative that we continue to fully fund Raise the Age implementation statewide, and that we embrace a public health response to gun violence. In the final budget, we urge Governor Hochul and the Legislature to deepen investments in youth programming, including county-level internships and afterschool programming, as well as expand access to peer-supported behavioral health services. New York needs bold investments that will support and uplift young people and it is critical the final FY23 State Budget make that a reality.