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.
The Oneida Indians have made their first payment of $11 million under a deal with New York state that guarantees the tribe exclusive territory for their central New York casino. A federal judge last week approved the deal reached with the Cuomo administration last May. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today the payment was made to Madison County and more money is forthcoming.
There’s growing unease over New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s tax freeze plan. 100 local government officials have signed a letter opposing the plan, including Syracuse Mayor and state Democratic Party Co-Chair Stephanie Miner. And there are signs that the legislature may modify what critics have called an overly complex proposal when the Senate and Assembly release their one house state budgets.
The lobby groups for the state’s counties, cities, and school boards are voicing numerous concerns. Tim Kremer is with the State School Boards Association.
It’s expected that Republicans will have an announced candidate for governor as early as next week. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has formed an exploratory committee and has expressed interest in what most believe will be an uphill climb, against Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is seeking re-election.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to cut the estate tax is drawing praise from fiscally conservative groups, and condemnation from advocates for the poor.
Cuomo’s proposal would raise the threshold for New York’s estate tax from the current $1 million to $5.25 million, which is the current federal rate of taxation. EJ McMahon, with the fiscally conservative think tank The Empire Center calls the levy the “death tax." He says it’s about time New York got in synch with the rest of the country, where many states have already eliminated the tax altogether.