The recently enacted state budget also marks the end of a commission that was investigating corruption in the legislature. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo agreed to dismantle the Moreland Act panel as part of a deal on ethics reform.
Protesters gathered for a gun rally at the capitol in Albany on Tuesday, including guest speakers Donald Trump, 2010 Republican gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino, and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican candidate for governor.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have finalized the details on a $138 billion dollar state budget and say they are on track to meet the April 1 deadline. The budget includes a multi step plan that could lower property taxes, $340 million dollars for schools to start pre-K programs, and a limited test program for public campaign financing.
Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers have agreed to a very limited form of campaign finance reform in the state budget, it would only apply to the state Comptroller’s race.
Advocates spent a million dollars on television ads and countless hours lobbying and holding demonstrations in favor of adopting a publicly funded, matching small donor system for statewide races, including the governor and the legislature.
Education funding advocates, including actress Cynthia Nixon, made a last minute pitch for extra money for schools in the state budget. Meanwhile, a new poll finds many New Yorkers think the quality of education in the state is deteriorating.
Tensions ran high at a closed door leaders meeting with Governor Cuomo.
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos abruptly left the final leaders meeting before the weekend early, complaining there was too much emphasis on the needs of the New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio at the expense of the rest of the state.
“We have a problem right now,” Skelos said. “Hopefully we can work it out. But we’ll see.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who emerged around half an hour later from the Governor’s office, says the Senator was “rather agitated”, but claimed not to know why.