Cuomo breaks silence on state budget

Posted April 07, 2017

NY state avoided a government shutdown Monday when reluctant lawmakers passed an emergency two-month spending measure proposed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo after he and the Legislature failed to strike a deal on a spending plan.

The Democrat introduced the short-term budget measure late Sunday to avoid a looming government shutdown after he and state lawmakers couldn't agree on a new, year-long spending plan.

Negotiations between the Governor, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R), Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) Leader Jeffrey Klein (D) and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) are expected to continue with the same intensity over the next few days, as the various conferences work to bridge disagreements on outstanding policy issues.

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

The speaker of the NY state Assembly says a deal may be close that could resolve the ongoing state budget impasse.

"You know I have some concerns in areas that I'm still trying to comb through", said Senator George Amedore.

Mr. Cuomo has a different sense of necessity this year; it's about delaying, not rushing. (D-Howard Beach) said, "The mere existence of a necessary budget extender is evidence of a flawed budget process for our state".

Yet Cuomo suggested that a final budget vote by the Legislature was not at hand - even as lawmakers just hours earlier vowed to stay at the Capitol to get it done. The previous budget expired on Friday as talks ground on, and on Monday legislators passed a stopgap temporary spending plan that keeps the state running through May 31st.

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"On issues such as Raise the Age, there are political and ideological differences between the Senate and Assembly".

"We're going to be looking at the potential for layoffs, we have contractual obligations that we have to take into account", said Tim Kremer, Executive Director of the New York School Boards Association.

It would be an ambitious timetable, but scheduling miracles do seem to materialize many times around adoption of the state budget.

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

"There's no great rush at this point to get anything done", Cuomo said, pointing to the late May expiration date of the extender.

As of Thursday, legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo were discussing a compromise which would freeze charter increases for another year and then tie them to increases in regular public school aid.

Now, an agreement on a budget could wait until after Easter - if not later.

The Assembly kept working, however, and Heastie says he believes the deal could lead to a resolution if the Senate accepts it. But a final deal still may not appear until the end of April.