Assembly Speaker: Deal on budget may be close

Posted April 07, 2017

NY state budget talks collapsed late Wednesday after members of the state Senate left Albany.

The state Legislature approved a two-month budget "extender" Monday, staving off a government shutdown after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders couldn't agree to a final budget for the state's fiscal year, which began Saturday.

Assemblyman Joe Errigo, R-Conesus, said the budget extender was an example of what is wrong with Albany, while state Sen.

The details of a final budget agreement, however, were hard to glean as of Tuesday evening. But negotiations over the more than $150 billion spending plan bogged down over juvenile justice reform, education spending and an affordable housing tax credit for New York City.

State lawmakers are lurching toward a final budget vote in Albany.

Those issues are: linking the renewal of the 421a tax abatement to when rent control for New York City expires, a charter tuition aid freeze that concludes in June and the supervision of 16 and 17-year-olds in the broader raise the age conversation, according to the source.

Cuomo suggested Wednesday the budget talks could drag on throughout the year.

NY state will avoid a government shutdown after lawmakers approved a two-month stopgap spending plan.

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The apparent end to the budget stalemate came after behind-the-scenes tensions bubbled into public view Tuesday morning.

"We are saddling them with the challenging task of creating and passing their own budgets with limited information about school funding", said Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, a Hudson Valley Democrat.

He vowed to begin voting Tuesday afternoon - if Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, put the agreements into bill form. "There are still outstanding issues, but on the issues that everybody believes is holding up the budget...there's agreement", Heastie told News 12.

"As a result, they're gonna have to guess", said David Albert, spokesman for the New York State School Boards Association.

During a #bFair2DirectCare rally in Albany, Cuomo announced to hundreds of advocates that "he will not sign the budget unless $55 million is included for Direct Service Professionals". If no budget agreement is reached by the close of this week, negotiations could potentially carry into the end of the month, or even into May.

The budget's details have not yet been released but lawmakers say it will include increased college tuition assistance and a higher age of criminal responsibility so 16- and 17-year-old offenders aren't prosecuted and incarcerated as adults. The change is a priority for Heastie and other Democrats, but it has raised concerns among Senate Republicans.

"On issues such as Raise the Age, there are political and ideological differences between the Senate and Assembly". One Republican said it is uncertain when the Senate might return if a real deal truly comes into place.

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