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$2.4 Billion Is Not Enough for New York’s Migrant Crisis, Adams Says

With the migrant crisis continuing to roil New York City, Mayor Eric Adams appeared to score a win last month when the governor vowed to commit $2.4 billion — more than double last year’s proposal — to cover the costs of caring for the tens of thousands of people who have arrived in New York to seek refuge.

But on Tuesday, Mr. Adams said even that would not be enough.

Testifying at the State Capitol in Albany, the mayor told lawmakers that the state would need to pony up at least half the cost of caring for migrants to keep the city from making drastic budget cuts, a figure his team put at $4.6 billion.

“We’re the economic engine of the state,” Mr. Adams said. “And we’ve always been here for the state. We need the state now to be here for us in the city.”

New York officials had hoped to divide the cost of sheltering migrants equally among the city, state and federal governments. But federal officials refused to commit to that arrangement, leaving the city to press the state for more funds.

In addition to more money for migrants, the mayor used his trip to Albany — an annual tradition known as Tin Cup Day when local leaders make their budget pitches to the state — to meet with legislative leaders and Gov. Kathy Hochul. He also pressed lawmakers for mayoral control of schools, the authority to address illegal cannabis vendors and an expansion of the city’s borrowing power.

New York legalized recreational marijuana use in 2021 with the goal of lifting up those communities of color that had been disproportionately victimized by the war on drugs. But licenses to sell cannabis have been slow in coming, as regulators sort through economic, environmental and legal concerns, allowing unlicensed vendors to proliferate.

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