Assembly Speaker: Deal on budget may be close

Lawmakers say Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to keep his promise to include $55 million in funding for direct care professionals despite the lack of an official state budget.

The budget was due by Saturday, when the state began a new fiscal year.

Assembly Leader Carl Heastie at around 3:45 p.m. emerged from a day of closed door meetings with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other legislative leaders for a budget update and he offered a semi-optimistic projection saying the main sticking points centered on school funding and in particular how much how much additional money charter schools should get.

Cuomo says disagreements remain over an affordable housing tax credit for New York City developers and a proposal to end a policy of automatically prosecuting and incarcerating 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.

New York City schools, for example, need to start planning their budget in May - which might be hard without knowing how much state support they can count on.

Mr. Cuomo has a different sense of necessity this year; it's about delaying, not rushing.

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.




"We anticipated more and they didn't come", Gallivan said.

Members of the Assembly said they would return Thursday in hopes of reviving the talks, though they may have little to do with the Senate adjourned.

"The budget extender passed today gave us the necessary appropriation authority to process the state's administrative payroll for 149,575 employees", the Comptroller's Office's said. Cuomo said he also wanted to ensure the government could continue to function in the face of what he believed were nearly certain cuts from Washington.

"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.

In his Southern Tier district, there are two-key issues - school aid and the budget for road and bridge work - and neither has been resolved.

"The problem is that the language that was agreed upon at 1 a.m., when people woke up the next morning, the agreement had disintegrated", she said.

The Assembly will take up the budget bills already approved by the Senate late last night, but the Senate is in a holding pattern awaiting that final piece of legislation. But a final deal still may not appear until the end of April.

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