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Still No Budget Deal

Reporters wait outside closed door budget meeting earlier this week
Reporters wait outside closed door budget meeting earlier this week

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders are still struggling to come to a final budget agreement, after the time for an expected announcement came and went on Friday.

Optimistic lawmakers had predicted a final accord on the budget by mid day Friday, but in the end, were unable to achieve that goal.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, just before leaving the Capitol for what he said was a meeting, said details on many issues have not been resolved. He denied that a final agreement on an ethics package and public campaign financing was the only major item now holding up the spending plan.  

“There’s language on education, there’ s language on UPK,” said Silver. “They’re all sticking points.”

The budget will likely include $300 million dollars for pre kindergarten programs in New York City, and at least $40 million for programs in the rest of the state, as well as more money for k through 12 schooling.

Cuomo and the leaders needed an agreement by the end of the day Friday in order to allow the bills to be available to the public for a three day waiting period before a vote can be held.

The governor has the power to forgo that, by issuing an emergency message to permit bills to be voted on immediately.  Silver says that’s a possibility

“I’m optimistic that we won’t need messages,” Silver said on Friday afternoon. “But obviously the clock is ticking.”

If Cuomo issues the messages, then lawmakers have until Monday to decide on a final budget agreement and still meet the deadline by midnight March 31st.