New York state lawmakers plan to hand out tens of millions in taxpayer dollars to local media outlets to help pay for journalists’ salaries.

The state will dole out $30 million over three years to local media outlets in the form of tax credits, giving publishers the ability to offset up to 50% of the first $50,000 in journalists’ salaries, according to a Tuesday release from New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.


Heastie emphasized that the funds will go toward protecting local news outlets for “many years to come.”

“Local journalism plays an essential role in our communities,” Heastie said in the release. “Not only does it provide critical coverage of local elections, but it also joins communities together through a shared knowledge of high school sports teams, new businesses coming to the area, and issues impacting readers’ everyday lives. This funding is the necessary first step in ensuring local journalism is protected and supported for many years to come.”

The tax credit includes $4 million for creating local journalism jobs; the remaining $26 million may be applied to offsetting the costs of covering salaries. Businesses with 100 or more employees, and those with less than 100, are eligible for the funds.

The provision was passed by the New York State Legislature and will be included in a larger budget bill for fiscal year 2025, which Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, is expected to sign, Axios reported.

“It is hereby found and declared that New York state needs, as a matter of public policy, to provide financial support and incentives for businesses which operate as newspaper and broadcast media, to sustain a productive and effective industry,” the legislation reads.

“It’s reported that roughly 2.5 newspapers closed each week of 2023, and this number is expected to rise year after year,” Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, a Democrat, said in the release. “By providing journalists the funding they need to continue their critical work in keeping us all informed about our local communities, we’re connecting neighborhoods and filling the information void.”

Roughly 2,500 local news outlets have folded since 2005, The New York Times reported, noting that other news outlets have reduced staff. In September, a coalition of 22 groups, some of which donated to left-wing entities such as Planned Parenthood and the Tides Foundation, announced plans to donate $500 million to local news outlets.

Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation