State legislature moves towards budget agreement days past deadline

07 April, 2017, 02:42 | Author: Elaine Woods

The speaker of the NY state Assembly floated a deal Thursday that he said could end the ongoing state budget stalemate, though it remains to be seen whether it will be accepted by the Senate.

"You're at the point where you might not get everything that you want", said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx.

Cuomo says disagreements remain over an affordable housing tax credit for New York City developers and a proposal to end a policy of automatically prosecuting and incarcerating 16- and 17-year-old offenders as adults.

Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan said he will call his members back when and if there is a deal with Assembly Democrats and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

School districts across NY must put the finishing touches on their own budgets by April 24 to comply with a Property Tax Report Card deadline established by law.

Cuomo offered his first extended comments on budget talks since the sides were negotiating feverishly behind closed doors to meet the April 1 start of the fiscal year.

"I voted on this extender to ensure that emergency responders, teachers, highway construction projects, and other government provided services that are so important to our daily lives can continue without interruption and so that the entire state can continue its daily operations while us legislators continue to hammer out a deal", Avella said.

By law, state lawmakers will have their pay withheld until a final budget is approved. But Sen. Griffo said Gov. Cuomo is still unhappy with that approach.

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With the passage of a NY state budget "extender", school districts are left in limbo.

The $152 billion budget proposal in January did not including funding to offset Cuomo's $15 minimum wage, which would not apply to Direct Service Professionals because their salaries are set by the state and the non-profits that employ them are largely funded through Medicaid.

"This guy (Cuomo) should look in the mirror as to why this budget is late", said Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, R-Troy. (D-Howard Beach) said, "The mere existence of a necessary budget extender is evidence of a flawed budget process for our state".

News 12 sources say there is agreement to increase aid to local school districts by a little more than 4 percent over a year ago.

"For myself, who supports both charters and traditional public schools, this is something that is palatable to be, " said Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, a Buffalo Democrat. But a final deal still may not appear until the end of April.

The sides found themselves fighting the past couple days on the criminal justice matter about who would supervise youth's released from detention centers upon completion of their sentences. One was said to be in Israel.

"This is not time for vacations", Easton said.

For optimists, that could happen as early as Friday.

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