State legislature moves towards budget agreement days past deadline
April 04, 2017 11:46 PM
ALBANY - “There's conceptual agreement on a number of issues in the budget,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“We could have a budget deal by tomorrow,” said Assemblyman John McDonald. “It is very possible we will see and more than likely a budget agreement by Friday of this week.”
This optimism follows days of frustration from state lawmakers who missed an April 1st deadline to approve Governor Cuomo's more than $150 billion dollar spending plan.
One of the main sticking points was disagreement between the Republican-led Senate and the Assembly’s Democratic majority over legislation raising the age of criminal responsibility so 16 and 17 year olds are not prosecuted as adults.
“You know I have some concerns in areas that I'm still trying to comb through,” said Senator George Amedore.
The gridlock forced the legislature to pass a budget extender Monday, which included funding for things like economic development and construction projects.
“A budget extender was passed so that government doesn't get shut down and critical services continue to be rendered,” Amedore said.
“How did we get the legislature to pass it? With charm and persuasion,” Cuomo said.
Republican and Democratic legislators had anything but charming words for Governor Cuomo and their anger over the budget extender is pushing them towards compromise.
The budget extender lasts until May 31st and some worry negotiations could fall apart by then.
Educations officials are also unhappy it leaves out much needed school aid after May 31st.
“We're going to be looking at the potential for layoffs, we have contractual obligations that we have to take into account,” said Tim Kremer, Executive Director of the New York School Boards Association. “Or possibly dipping into fund balances, monies that we've got in reserve.”
It seems lawmakers are finally eager to pass a budget.
Some say not doing so also delays policies in it, like ride sharing.
“We don't want to wait until the end of August, the end of racing season in the Capital Region for ride sharing,” McDonald said.
Albany Common Councilman Richard Conti tells Newschannel 13 the budget also includes $12.5 million dollars of state aid for Albany, which is considered critical for the city's own budget.
Created: April 04, 2017 11:46 PM
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