New Yorkers continue to feel the bite from inflation, with prices at the grocery store and rents continuing to pinch wallets and bank accounts. 

The ongoing cost-of-living concerns have made affordability a key issue in the ongoing state budget negotiations in Albany.

From housing to taxes, as well as wages, New York lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul have pledged to address affordability in the state, making it a key issue as the spending plan is debated over the next several weeks. 

The discussions also come against the backdrop of a state flush with a budget surplus approaching $9 billion, but also as New Yorkers may be bracing for a potential economic downturn.  

Hochul this year wants to address a basic, but increasing cost affecting New Yorkers: The price of housing. Her budget includes measures meant to expand housing to drive down rents and the costs facing first-time homebuyers.  

Hochul's goal is to create 800,000 new housing units in the coming years. To do so, she wants to have qualifying projects bypass local officials if they meet criteria, but are facing community opposition. She also wants to encourage development around commuter rail stations. 

Opposing new housing can have a detrimental effect on the state as a whole, Hochul said this week. 

"That's not how you grow, it's how you stagnate," she said. "We cannot live in a state that stagnates and that's why we have to lean in to these bold objectives."

But lawmakers are also raising concerns about the costs affecting everyday New Yorkers. Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt says the cost of living is driving people out of the state. 

"The single biggest threat to the state of New York is the outmigration of our human capital," he said. "It's the loss of future generations of workers, of investors, of employers, taxpayers."

Ortt has concerns with Hochul's budget, including a payroll tax in the New York City area to shore up mass transit as well as a Medicaid cost shift to counties he says could drive up property taxes. 

"This is going to have an absolute impact," he said. "It's going to blow holes in almost every county budget out there."

Democrats like Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also have concerns, including a proposal that would raise tuition at the state's public colleges and universities by linking it to the higher education price index. The increases would not affect students who qualify for Excelsior and tuitiion assistance programs. 

"Affordability is something that we very, very much care about and so of course there are concerns around tuition at this time," Stewart-Cousins said. 

And then there's a debate over the minimum wage. Hochul wants to index future raises to inflation; lawmakers and advocates are calling for an increase to $21.25 in order to help low-income people. The measure is backed by state Sen. Jessica Ramos and Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner. 

"That will always be a conversation we will have -- how do we raise the floor for our lowest wage workers?" Stewart-Cousins said. "You have to be able to take care of your family as your taking care of others."