Time running out for on-time New York state budget

Malcolm Fuller
April 5, 2017

Few lawmakers expressed enthusiasm for the short-term bill, known as a budget 'extender, ' which Cuomo introduced after he and lawmakers blew through a Saturday budget deadline.

Should the budget impasse extend into the week Cuomo may have to consider whether to propose "budget extenders" to continue current state spending levels until a new spending plan is adopted.

"The Assembly is prepared to pass a temporary budget extender should one be necessary to avoid a shutdown of government while we resolve these issues", he said.

Earlier Monday, Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci praised DeFrancisco in a news release and referred to him as "a potential 2018 candidate for NY governor".

Citizens Union, a good government group, in its "Spending in the Shadows" report released in March, revealed that Cuomo's proposed budget for 2016-2017 contains $14 billion in lump sum appropriations "with little detail how the money is to be spent or who controls the spending". "It's the same issues we've been talking about for six weeks, " Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Sunday night after meeting with Cuomo and two other legislative leaders in the governor's second-floor Capitol suite. Neither President Donald Trump nor congressional Republicans who control Capitol Hill have any incentive to fork over more federal money to NY just so Mr. Cuomo can look like a taxpayers hero, a reputation that would come in handy should he seek to run for president. Read Governor Cuomo's full statement here. But the sides were hopeful Sunday that a deal was near - as in hours or days, not months.

Mr. Cuomo's extender would last until May 21, when the U.S. Congress is expected to pass its budget resolution.

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Some senators were already halfway home and had to turn around to return to Albany.

Cuomo, who had argued the Republican proposal pitched by Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence.to shift the costs back to Albany was an immoral, illegal and unfair attack on the state, offered the argument Thursday that the new law was not only possible but just. In New York state law, legislators can not be paid before a budget is in place for the entire year.

The Senate approved dual bills 46-15 to extend the current state budget for two months or until an agreement is reached. Young, R-Olean, jabbed the Assembly Democrats for holding out on budget passage until their "Raise the Age" proposal is included.

Assembly Democrats want nearly all cases involving youth to start in family court, while Senate Republicans want to keep most violent felony cases in criminal court. Lawmakers now say final votes aren't likely to happen until Monday at the earliest. "One of the sticking points that my Democratic colleagues don't want to put into print is that violent felons, murders, rapists, won't continue to be treated as adults and get longer sentences".

NY state will avoid a government shutdown after lawmakers approved a two-month stopgap spending plan. 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. Adding to the agita in Albany is the fact that legislators, recently denied a raise by Cuomo appointees, might not get paid until a new budget is passed.

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