ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York legislative leaders are meeting behind closed doors to negotiate a state budget as a deadline for passing the earliest budget in decades draws near.
Sen. Jeffrey Klein, who leads the Independent Democratic Conference which shares leadership of the Senate, says no deals are final. He says at least some legislative leaders and Cuomo met earlier Sunday and another closed-door session was expected.
"We're moving toward closure. We'll meet in a couple
of hours," said Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
Legislative leaders describe the meetings as productive
and cordial, but have declined to say what specifically is holding a deal up.
Raising the minimum wage, one of the stickier issues they
tell NEWS10, remains in. A few of its supporters rallied in front of Skelo's
office. Senate republicans have expressed concern regarding an increase saying
it would hurt small business. They're pushing for a training wage that would
allow younger workers to be paid less during their first few months of their
"In our opinion it would help young people and
especially in the minority community to get jobs and not get laid off," said
Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, though, declined to say if
he'd support a deal on the minimum wage that included that training wage.
"We don't negotiate out in the hall," said Silver.
Cuomo and legislative leaders hope to pass the third straight on-time budget, a feat not accomplished since the early 1980s.
An agreement on a $143 billion budget is expected to be announced Monday. That would set a schedule for a March 21 budget adoption, the earliest since at least the 1970s.
The 2013-14 state budget is due by April 1.
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