Published: Wed, April 05, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

No deals yet on NY state budget

No deals yet on NY state budget

The state Legislature was poised Monday to pass "a budget extender" to keep the government operating.

It was imperative to pass these budget extenders since they contain a $40 billion temporary spending plan that allows for all state entities to continue operations and allows for many critical programs to continue without disruption until the final budget is passed.

Kearns says five of the last six budgets during his time in the Assembly have been passed on time, so this current situation is uncharted territory for numerous new members.

Cuomo suggested an extender might not be the worst scenario: He has warned for days that potential cuts in federal aid from the Trump administration should give lawmakers pause.

Cuomo has staked much of his reputation on fixing dysfunction in Albany by delivering budgets on-time, instead of months later, a frequent occurrence in years past. Key lawmakers huddled behind closed doors with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the hopes of finding compromise on education spending, charter schools and a push to raise the age of criminal responsibility so 16- and 17-year-old offenders aren't tried as adults. "The federal budget comes out on May 21 and we will have more information at that time".

Shortly after midnight, Cuomo's office released a statement, saying he was giving the Republican-controlled Senate and Democratically-controlled Assembly until Monday to pass the budget. In New York, Governor Cuomo has responded with over-the-top threats and calls to raise taxes on the middle class by 26 percent.

Budget negotiations continued passed the April 1 deadline and into the weekend, and legislators were given a "grace period" to continue working. John DeFrancisco, of Syracuse.

"Normally the Capitol isn't this quiet unless indictments are being handed out", said Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, R-Melrose, Rensselaer County, referring to the scandals at the Capitol in recent years.

The state Budget Division said the bills will permit spending about $15.3 billion in state tax funds over the next two months - or $24.6 billion when all funds are counted. Lawmakers held another round of private meetings late Sunday, but there was no resolution.

State Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins said the budget extender is just a stop-gap; work must continue on the full budget. Young, R-Olean, jabbed the Assembly Democrats for holding out on budget passage until their "Raise the Age" proposal is included. Unprepared to manage the criminal justice system, poor New Yorkers lose their jobs, homes, and families while often languishing in pretrial detention because their lawyers don't have the time or resources to work on their cases. He said in the statement that raising the age of criminal responsibility and affordable housing are what stalled negotiations, as well as fears about the federal budget, but some lawmakers criticized Cuomo.

DeFrancisco says he expects a budget to pass before Monday, but predicts that in order to do so numerous most contentious issues will be "jettisoned". Nationally, local governments pay an estimated $9 billion to subsidize Medicaid expenses; $7.2 billion of that total is paid by New York City and the 57 county governments in the state.

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