New York State Budget Talks Collapse; Some State Senators Leave Albany
With a spending plan now six days late, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders were set to meet to determine their next steps with the lingering impasse showing no signs of breaking or even cooling off.
Gov. Cuomo had proposed giving the Division of Budget more authority in making mid-year fiscal changes after a final budget has been passed, but that was rejected by the state legislature.
Cuomo late Wednesday said he and the Legislature couldn't reach consensus on three key issues: Removing most 16- and 17-year-olds from the adult court and prison systems; extending an expired affordable-housing tax credit for New York City builders; and reshaping a major funding boost for charter schools due to take effect in June.
Assemblyman Joe Errigo, R-Conesus, said the budget extender was an example of what is wrong with Albany, while state Sen.
He said he wants a final deal - but also that it would be better to wait until there is more clarity about federal budget cuts to NY and other states. "Send us a bill as we are #readytovote".
Cuomo suggested Wednesday the budget talks could drag on throughout the year. The governor said the state needs the kind of "financial flexibility" that the federal government achieved through the continuing resolution passed in December.
But once this year's negotiations dragged into last weekend, and an on-time budget looked increasingly unlikely, Cuomo embraced the idea of an "extender" budget, which would keep the state operating for the next two months following the parameters of last year's budget, but not include any of the contentious issues that are holding up the new one.
The $40 billion budget extender authorizes essential funding in order to keep government operations afloat and to avoid a government shutdown. Unfortunately, some Senators have chosen to engage in a fear campaign that falsely accuses Assembly Democrats of coddling murderers and rapists in the context of this issue.
Cuomo's press office later issued a statement that said legislators "failed" to meet the April 1 deadline for a new budget.
"These other issues, we'll deal with and they're important", Cuomo said in Greene County, where he examined the scene of a grounded gasoline barge. The Assembly plans to push on to at least, later Wednesday evening.
While his home is nearby, McDonald said the many lawmakers who can't drive home each night are growing tired, missing their families and running out of clothes.
"School districts need the certainty in their budgets", he said.
"We don't want to wait until the end of August, the end of racing season in the Capital Region for ride sharing", McDonald said.
How and when the Senate might return for a vote is up to their leader John Flanagan, said Heastie.
With U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara deposed and ethics reforms completely off the table, Cuomo has leaked details of supposed "deals" (like the noxious 421-a rumor, which first appeared in Politico Pro, cited to "sources close to the negotiations") to media outlets, sending Democrats into a frenzy of dissent.
They pointed to the possibility that the new justice would tip the balance on several key issues before the court. In fact, a Senate rules change does appear to be Republicans' one route to put Gorsuch on the court.
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