Now that the New York State budget is done, the focus at the Capitol shifts to some other priorities, including whether to allow medical marijuana. Advocates came to the Capitol to lobby lawmakers, but the bill is getting bogged down over political skirmishes.
New York legislative leaders say they are working together and are close to a budget agreement, after a blowup that left the Senate and Assembly leaders negotiating separately with Governor Andrew Cuomo.
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.
New York State Assembly Democrats say there should be more money for schools and the environment, and major changes to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to freeze property taxes. It’s all part of a one-house budget resolution, the first step in reaching agreement on a final spending plan by the end of March.
New York Governor Cuomo outlined the details of his plan to site three gambling casinos upstate.
Cuomo, joined by union and business leaders, and representatives from county governments, offered more details of a plan to build three new gambling casinos. Cuomo says he wants to limit the locations to upstate regions for now, to prop up the failing economy. The governor says upstate needs jobs like it needs “oxygen.” And he says having a downstate location would devalue the upstate centers.
A key component of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2013 agenda appears in jeopardy, as the governor concedes he does not currently have enough votes in the state Senate to bring an abortion rights bill he has championed to the floor.
State Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos says a bill to put into state law the abortion rights protections in the federal Roe v. Wade decision won’t be voted on in the state Senate.
“We’re not going to put in on the floor,” Skelos said. “In my opinion and the opinion of my conference, that bill is not moving.”
New York State lawmakers are close to agreeing on a new state spending plan that would include a deal to raise taxes on the wealthy, and raise the minimum wage. They failed to seal a pact Monday night, but say they will be back Tuesday morning to try again.
Senate Co-Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein , after a closed door leaders meeting, say they are hopeful that up to $700 million dollars in tax cuts for business and the middle class could be in the state budget.