Budget Cuts & Missed Opportunities Define New York Budget

Final state budget excludes improvements to paid medical leave, tobacco control & cancer screening programs, but institutes patient protections related to medical debt

April 22, 2024

This week, state leaders approved the state budget for FY 2024-25.

In response, Michael Davoli, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) New York Senior Government Relations Director, released the following statement:

“If we are truly serious about limiting the burden of cancer for New Yorkers, we have to take a comprehensive approach. Governor Hochul and the State Legislature had an opportunity to do so in the final 2024-25 state budget by prioritizing proposals that impact individuals across the cancer continuum. Unfortunately, the final budget came up short in key areas, thwarting the promise of the robust legislative package that advocates strongly supported.  

“The burden of disease in New York has reached a fever-pitch with the exorbitant costs of treatment and insufficient resources to limit the impact of illness on residents’ lives and livelihood. ACS CAN was disappointed to see that Governor Hochul and the Legislature could not come to an agreement to alleviate the burden of disease through an expansion of the state’s paid family and medical leave programs. We are especially disheartened to see that intermittent leave was not incorporated into the Temporary Disability Insurance program in the final budget, which provides paid medical leave for patients while they are battling diseases, including but not limited to cancer. The reality is that a majority of patients need sporadic or intermittent time off for their care. The real, lived experience of patients and survivors should directly inform how our lawmakers address issues, and, in neglecting to incorporate intermittent leave into New York’s medical leave program, lawmakers have failed to take their needs into account.

“ACS CAN calls on the Legislature to utilize the remainder of the 2024 session to right this wrong and institute a pathway for New Yorkers battling disease to access intermittent leave during their treatment and recovery. We are also eager to work with lawmakers to ensure that New Yorkers can access up to 26 weeks of paid leave, an increase from the existing cap at 12 weeks, and establish progressive wage replacement. These measures, paired together, will help limit the impact of disease on working residents.

“An inadequate paid leave program leaves patients vulnerable to medical debt, a pervasive and toxic presence in the lives of New Yorkers with illness. Thankfully, state leaders included provisions aimed at preventing patients from incurring medical debt. Measures were also included to help address the crippling effect that medical debt continues to have on our most vulnerable residents. The provisions on medical debt in the final state budget will help ensure that more New Yorkers can pay for their care without the lasting impact of medical debt. Additionally, the budget will rectify some of the toxic, predatory practices employed by many hospitals to coerce payments from patients.

“Our state can do so much more to prevent residents from getting to the point where they need time-off from work or are buried in bills from a diagnosis. We need to do better about preventing disease in the first place, starting with providing New Yorkers support to quit their tobacco use and, for youth especially, prevent uptake. Over the last decade, state lawmakers have halved the budget for the New York State Tobacco Control Program. Last year, however, they included a $7.5 million increase in the budget, bringing the funding total to $46.658 million, still well below the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation of $203 million. Unfortunately, the final 2024-25 budget cuts funding from last year’s levels, which back-tracks on the state’s progress to protect kids from Big Tobacco and help adults quit.

“Where we cannot wholly prevent cancer, we can catch it early through programs like the Cancer Services Program, which makes early detection of breast, cervical and colorectal cancers possible for more under- and un-insured New Yorkers. To ACS CAN’s disappointment, the final state budget cut the $2.5 million in additional state funding that was added to the program last year, reducing its budget to $19.8 million, which will further limit its ability to save New Yorkers’ lives.

“Every New Yorker should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, detect and survive cancer. We hope state leaders will utilize the remainder of the 2024 legislative session to do more for patients across the cancer continuum.”


About ACS CAN  
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) advocates for evidence-based public policies to reduce the cancer burden for everyone. We engage our volunteers across the country to make their voices heard by policymakers at every level of government. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We stand with our volunteers, working to make cancer a top priority for policymakers in cities, states and our nation’s capital. Join the fight by visiting


Media Contacts

Casey O'Neill
Sr. Regional Media Advocacy Manager