NY pushes to settle budget early; proposals emerge
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP/WTEN) – New York's Legislature is calling for more spending, tax cuts and a higher minimum wage, even a roll-back of a new gun control law in their budget counter-proposals.
But Gov. Andrew Cuomo says money is short. He noted legislative proposals are often used for political posturing and often aren't likely to change the budget.
Cuomo also says Monday he won't allow a Senate proposal to cut the funding out of his gun control law.
Cuomo says a solid budget framework must be in place by the end of this week to hit the March 21 target to pass one of the earliest budgets in decades.
The governor declined to give specifics on any sticking points on the budget deal, explaining that there's still a lot to be worked out.
"If any party digs in on any one issue and it was a critical issue for someone else anything could,' said Cuomo.
Raising the minimum wage remains one of the more contentious issues. The Assembly passed it last week, the governor has expressed his support, but senate republicans aren't sold.
As the Assembly and Senate submitted their one house budget resolutions and some progress was made in the senate, IDC coalition leader Sen. Jeff Klein told reporters it was included.
"Our proposal has the minimum wage increase starting this year, all other proposals have it starting next year. I've said it once and I'll say it again, minimum wage workers can't wait," said Klein.
His co-Majority Leader and Senate Republican Dean Skelos, though, hedged.
"I'd support it but I said in our budget resolution is that I would consider it along with other business tax credits and incentives," said Skelos.
Senators failed to include what the minimum wage should be increased to, which opened them up to criticism.
"Now the problem is we all have different minimum wage numbers so that's what has to be reconciled," said Cuomo.
As budget negotiations continue, there's a new resource available that allows New Yorkers to see exactly what's in it.
The governor announced the launch of a transparency website back in January, and he updated the public on its progress Monday.
Cuomo is now expanding the initiative, directing various state agencies to begin submitting data on a more regular basis, which will make more information available online.
"It's about reimaging state government to use technology to unlock that value in the data, take that information out of the file cabinet, put it online and make it available to the people, which will help improve government performance, innovation and collaboration," said Linda Lacewell, special counsel to the governor.
Anyone interested in learning more about the budget can visit Open.ny.gov.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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