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Molinaro: Where Is Gov. Hochul’s Migrant Money Coming From?

Hochul Is Refusing to Say How Expenses For Migrant Services Are Being Paid For

Binghamton, NY U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro (NY-19) today sounded the alarm on Governor Kathy Hochul’s refusal to release information on the taxpayer dollars being used to bus and house migrants in Upstate New York.   

Governor Hochul’s recently enacted budget allows New York State’s bureaucracy to absorb up to $1 billion in federal Medicaid dollars from services administered on the local level, over the next few years. The budget also changed state law to permit Medicaid dollars to be used on non-citizens and allows New York State to be reimbursed for up to $1 billion in migrant crisis costs.

On May 26, Rep. Molinaro sent a letter requesting that Governor Hochul provide information by June 5 on the source of the taxpayer money being spent on bussing and housing migrants. Governor Hochul failed to provide any information by that deadline.

Rep. Molinaro said, “We know taxpayers are being forced to pay to bus and house migrants from New York City. But we don’t know where Governor Hochul is coming up with the money, if services for Upstate New Yorkers are being cut as a result, or if these taxpayer dollars are being taken from New York’s Medicaid fund or some other slush fund. Governor Hochul needs to explain all of this. New York City’s decision to declare itself a ‘Sanctuary City’ is having a real impact. Working families in Upstate New York should never have to pay for New York City’s policies.”

The full text of Rep. Molinaro’s May 26 letter can be found below:


Governor Hochul,

Over the last several weeks, New York City has been transporting hundreds of migrants Upstate to hotels across the state, including my district. With the transportation of migrants comes associated costs borne by the State for the transport, housing, resources provided such as food and healthcare, and much more.

In the state budget you recently signed into law, there were several concerning provisions such as the $1 billion for the reimbursement of costs for the migrant crisis, including nearly $750 million for shelter costs, over $150 million for the national guard, nearly $140 million for migrants’ healthcare, and more.

Also included in the State budget was the redirection of Enhanced Federal Medical Assistance (eFMAP) funds intended for the counties, but now absorbed by the state. This puts county administered Medicaid programs that are meant to serve hungry children, impoverished seniors, and working mothers in Upstate New York now on the chopping block.

This raises the question as to how the State is funding the transportation of migrants and migrant crisis management. Are the eFMAP funds that were taken from the counties being used for migrant services and transportation to Upstate communities?

If not, what funding mechanisms are being used on the State level to fund such migrant transportation and services? In other words, where exactly are these dollars coming from?

The fact that New York State taxpayers, who already face the highest state tax burden in the country, are now forced to pay for the migrant crisis to the tune of $1 billion is already highly concerning. It would be even more concerning should it be evident that the transportation of migrants Upstate are being funded by the Medicaid dollars that were recently stolen from vital services for the most vulnerable New Yorkers.

Taxpayers in Upstate New York deserve to know how much of their money is being spent on migrant crisis management, particularly when the money is being used to transport them Upstate.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please send over the breakdown and source of the spending related to the migrant crisis by June 5th.