Assembly Speaker: Deal On Budget May Be Close

Assembly Members explain their vote about passing a emergency budget extension in place of the state budget in the Assembly Chamber at the state Capitol on Monday

Assembly Members explain their vote about passing a emergency budget extension in place of the state budget in the Assembly Chamber at the state Capitol on Monday

Gov. Andrew Cuomo addressed reporters on Wednesday, April 6, 2017, as negotiations over a state budget crumbled.

"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.

The budget was due Saturday but lawmakers and Cuomo couldn't agree on issues including juvenile justice reform, education spending and an affordable housing tax credit in New York City.

Upstate Uber, increased tuition assistance, and more money for schools are just a few of the items in the new $152 billion state budget poised for passage today in the State Legislature.

"For too long, the "three men in a room" where the Governor, the Speaker, and Senate Majority Leader huddled together to hash out the budget without input from the entire legislature is entirely undemocratic".

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A spokeswoman for Assemblyman Clyde Vanel (D-QueensVillage) said the Assembly would likely still be legislating until Thursday morning, and expressed hope that there would be broad agreement on legislation to raise the age of automatic adult criminal prosecutions from 16 to 18 years old.

For weeks, Cuomo has stated his preference for a budget that would allow him to tinker with it throughout the year, controlling disbursements without legislative approval. Without a budget or an "extender", state offices wouldn't have opened on Monday, a shutdown threat that legislators usually employ as leverage to get a deal done.

"We'll do it when they come back", he said.

The extender funds government operations through May 31 and includes several infrastructure, environmental and economic development projects.

He said one option is to base their budget proposals on what Governor Cuomo proposed - $1 billion extra for schools (the legislature has asked for more).

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The revenue bill, being dubbed the budget's "big ugly" for this year, is expected to include almost every controversial issue in the budget, including a millionaires' tax extension, ride hailing for upstate ny cities, the 421a real-estate abatement and raising the age of criminal responsibility. The change is a priority for Heastie and other Democrats, but it has raised concerns among Senate Republicans. Heastie strenuously denied the charge, accusing the GOP of waging an untruthful "fear campaign".

A spokesman for Senate Republicans confirmed there are "conceptual" deals and that voting could begin Tuesday.

"Having the right resolution is more important to me than having a resolution", Cuomo said at a hastily called news conference at the Capitol.

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, said this year's budget process has been "extremely dysfunctional".

She also said funding for the DREAM Act, which offers financial aid for undocumented students to pursue an education, was off the table in negotiations.

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