Published: Fri, April 07, 2017
Markets | By Terence Owen

Cuomo, lawmakers break NY budget stalemate

- The stalemate over New York's tardy state budget took a new turn Tuesday when lawmakers insisted they had a deal on a new spending plan, only to be dismissed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who insisted there is no need to rush.

"While the budget may be late, its secretive process has been exposed and those behind it are answerable not only to our district, but the entire state".

Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan's spokesman said senators are discussing the proposed compromise but there's now no final agreement.

Another provision, a priority for Democrats, would end the state's distinction as one of only two states that automatically prosecute and incarcerate 16- and 17-year-old offenders as adults.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, said Cuomo began raising new budget issues for the first time Wednesday, a move which complicated the talks.

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

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

NY has a long history of late budgets, and Cuomo had prided himself on working to finalize budgets on time each of his first six years in office.

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Lawmakers this week embraced a two-month extender of the state budget, which expired last week, allowing state workers to get paid and programs to keep getting funding from the public treasury.

The disagreement boiled over Monday, with various Senate Republicans issuing statements essentially accusing Democrats of wanting to coddle juvenile rapists and murderers. Thoughtful and responsible public policy has been adopted in 48 other states and it is unconscionable that any New Yorker would want to continue this abhorrent practice.

Only four of the remaining nine bills needed to pass the budget - which is expected to surpass $150 billion - had been introduced by 6 p.m., leaving lawmakers, lobbyists and reporters scrambling to figure out what's in and what's out.

"Not knowing how much state aid will be coming from Albany pushes the districts to make choices they would otherwise avoid", Robert Lowry, the spokesman for the New York Council of School Superintendents, said Tuesday.

The Assembly kept working, however, and Heastie says he believes the deal could lead to a resolution if the Senate accepts it. On Wednesday, according to NY1, Heastie was in a private conference with Democrats when Cuomo texted the Assembly leader and asked him why he was "bad-mouthing" him during the meeting. "With charm and persuasion", Cuomo said.

He said a final agreement could wait until after Easter.

"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.

Should final deals be made, the Senate was discussing the logistics of when to return.

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