ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) -Assembly democrats met at the Capital to go over the 2023 NYS conceptual budget. Assemblyman of the 108th District, John McDonald, says most areas of the budget are set to be voted on.

Minimum wage is looking to still be raised, a topic McDdonald says is not even matching some jobs you can apply to now. “As a business owner myself, I had challenges with it. But nowadays you walk into any Stewart’s, they’re starting people off at 16, 18 dollars an hour,” stated, McDonald.

Republican Assembly Minority Leader of the 120th District, William Barclay, says increasing the minimum wage will not help workers in the long term. “By increasing the minimum wage, it’s going to add to that cost, and ultimately that hurts workers because people are going to use automation or lay off workers,” described Barclay.

School lunchs have caused concern over whether or not there is enough to cover all children in need. In the legislature’s one house budget, $280 million was put towards the program. The conceptual budget instead proposes $134 million. Jessica Pino-Goodspeed, of Hunger Solutions New York, says she believes this will not meet standards. “It’s not enough. We know that anything short of a statewide free school meals for all program will leave stuggling children and families behind,” explained Pino-Goodspeed.

McDonald argues school lunch programs he has seen are capable of feeding kids in need, and will continue to do so. “Currently in my district, the majority of my districts I represent now, all have free lunch programs for all the students,” said McDonald.

The current holdups McDonald shares are relating to energy and the environment. “The concept of all electric buildings, building public renewables, these are items that have been tossed around and we are trying to figure out where we are going to land on our language,” described McDonald.

The final proposals are revealed to the legislators. Bills will start to be printed and passed over the next few days, and may see changes.