Many of New York state’s mayors are celebrating a bump in state funding for their municipalities in the state budget.

AIM, or aid and incentives for municipalities, will see a $50 million boost in unrestricted funding for cities, the first in 15 years.

The state funds are used by cities to pay for things like supplies and wages for police officers and firefighters, and many local leaders say this increase is essential when you consider how the cost of doing business has changed in the last decade and a half.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan has been an active participant in the fight for an increase.

“To every year, year after year, be told no has been really demoralizing to a lot of mayors,“ she said. “We fought and fought and fought to ensure that the money that we send to the state comes back to our communities.”

Barbara Van Epps, executive director of the New York State Conference of Mayors, was part of that fight. She said she hopes for a “stronger, more meaningful partnership” between the state and municipalities moving forward.

“I hope this amount of money, people will see its a good investment, they’ll see that our local governments are doing the right thing with this money and we need to continue doing this,” she said.

State Assemblymember Pat Fahy credited Van Epps with making up ground on a stubborn legislative issue.

“This one was written off, when I was told a few years in a row that I was wasting my time, and you certainly never gave up and that was a wonderful win,” she said while addressing Van Epps.

Syracuse City Auditor Alexander Marion stressed AIM funding is crucial to municipalities because it is unrestricted, giving them the freedom to invest it where necessary.

“New York state is very good at handing out money for very niche purposes but what we need is money to cover our daily operating expenses,” he said.

That's a need that Marion told Spectrum News 1 is even more acute in many upstate cities that have huge swaths of land off of the tax rolls.

“Our hospitals and universities that are using a tremendous ammount of resources but not contributing to the public fisc, so we need the state to step in and support our cities with the funding they need and deserve to keep those very expensive services up and running."

The bump is an increase for this year, meanwhile Senator Rachel May has introduced legislation that would redo the AIM formula for a more long term solution.