New York State Budget

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

Lawmakers originally planned to be passing bills by now, ready to wrap up the state budget and leave on a three week break beginning on Thursday.
 
But, instead of an agreement early in the week, each day lawmakers have found themselves discussing new issues , some of them totally unrelated to the spending plan. Most recently, talks have turned to whether to decriminalize public possession of marijuana in New York City, and walking back a provision of the recently enacted gun control laws.

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

The New York State budget is crawling to a conclusion, as legislative leaders and Governor Cuomo continue closed door meetings to try to strike a final deal.

Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

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.

Liz Benjamin: Light and Shade

Mar 18, 2013
Liz Benjamin
YNN, Capital Tonight

Governor Cuomo made a big show last week of marking Sunshine Week - a national initiative launched in 2005 by the American Society of News Editors to highlight the importance of open government and the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy.

As New York State budget talks reach their final days, and perhaps even hours,  a group of Hispanic lawmakers is pushing for the inclusion of the Dream Act in the budget, It would offer college aid to children of undocumented immigrants who were born in the country.

The New York State legislature is fast tracking the budget process, as they try to reach final agreements and get bills printed by the weekend.  The negotiations drew protesters to the Capitol, who are demanding that the budget include a minimum wage increase to $9 an hour, with automatic future increases for inflation.
 
The 50 or so demonstrators directed their ire toward Governor Cuomo and Senate Co Leader Jeff Klein, who they say aren’t doing enough to convince Republicans in the Senate to go along with a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour.
 

Smoking is New York’s number one cause of cancer deaths.  Yet in recent years, the state has taken its foot off the gas and slashed its investment in combating tobacco in half.  That’s a mistake we’re starting to pay for.

Consider this: in 2009 smoking caused the cancer deaths of over 9,000 New Yorkers, 26 per day.  That staggering number is more than one quarter of all cancer deaths in New York State.  This is a public health catastrophe and reducing the carnage caused by smoking should be a top priority for Albany.

Last week the New York State Assembly voted to impose a statewide moratorium on the controversial natural gas extraction process known as hydrofracking, following reports that Governor Andrew Cuomo was considering lifting the current ban on the practice now in place.

WAMC’s Patrick Donges spoke recently with New York State Assemblyman Phil Steck, Democrat of the 110th district, which includes Colonie, Niskayuna and part of Schenectady. Steck voted for the fracking moratorium, despite his district not being targeted for natural gas development.

State budget negotiations are continuing in Albany this week in the run-up to the self-imposed March 21st deadline set by state legislators and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, Democrat of Manhattan’s 75th district, spoke with WAMC's Patrick Donges for an update on budget negotiations and the prospects for medical marijuana in the Empire State, a cause he has long championed.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state's comptroller says there are some big question marks in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says it would increase debt, rely on one-shot revenues, and includes overly optimistic projections of tax revenues.

DiNapoli did credit the budget as a move toward long-term fiscal balance.

Cuomo's $143 billion proposal is boosted by anticipated federal disaster aid. The current budget is $134 billion.

DiNapoli criticized the 2013-14 spending plan for relying on $1.4 billion in temporary revenue.

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