ALBANY, N.Y. - The governor and legislative leaders have agreed in concept on a two-year framework that includes tax cuts, a minimum wage hike, and an extension of the surcharge on New York's highest earners.
The $135 billion budget deal was reached following a series of closed-door negotiations Wednesday night. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver entered the Governor Cuomo's office at about 5:30 p.m., followed later by Senate leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein. Finally, at about 8:00 p.m., the governor and the leaders convened in the Red Room to announce a conceptual budget deal.
"We will be starting to print bills this evening. Votes could be as early as early as Saturday or Sunday. In any event, we plan and hope to make the April 1st deadline, and we are on track to do that certainly given the progress that we have been making," Cuomo said.
The deal includes a package of tax cuts for small businesses, veterans, and families with children. If you earn between $40,000 and $300,000 per year and you have one or more children up to 18 years of age, you would receive a check for $350 in each of the next three years, starting in 2014. The leaders say that money helps struggling families.
"We hear them. We understand them. And we're going to do what we can to make their fiscal lives and their personal lives a lot easier," Skelos said.
The agreement also includes a phased-in minimum wage hike to $8.00 per hour in December, $8.75 next year, and $9.00 in 2015.
"We're pleased that -- along with this agreement -- tens of thousands of hard-working, minimum wage-earning New Yorkers will be receiving a badly-needed and much-deserved raise," said Silver.
The governor and leaders also agreed to extend the so-called "Millionaire's Tax" on New York's highest earners.
The budget will include expansion of pre-kindergarten in low-income schools, funding to extend the school day and year, and merit pay for top teachers.
Other provisions released Thursday include a new marketing program to promote tourism, produce and other New York-made foods.
Other parts of the budget are still in negotiation.
The governor and leaders have not yet agreed to any amendments to the New York SAFE Act. They are still negotiating a possible change to the state's ban on high-capacity gun magazines.
Here is a Budget Breakdown by NEWS10's Steve Flamisch:
It's important to note: This is just a deal. It has to be passed by the Assembly and Senate then signed into law by the governor. However, since Cuomo, Klein, Skelos, and Silver have given it their approval, it's expected to pass easily.
The surcharge on New Yorkers who earn more than $1 million would be extended for three years.
It would go to $8.00 then $8.75 then $9.00. The governor's chief of staff, Josh Vlasto, tells NEWS10 they would occur on Dec. 15 of 2013, 2014, and 2015.
No exact numbers have been reported, leaders do say it's about a half-billion more than the governor's original proposal.
The governor and leaders, in the press conference, were repeatedly mixed-up about the $350 family tax credit. The chief of staff says anyone who earns between $40k and $300k, who has at least one child under 18 years old, would get a $350 check in 2014, 2015, and 2016 -- provided the child(ren) is/are still under age.
-Changes to the ban on high-capacity magazines under the NY SAFE Act
-Criminalizing synthetic marijuana and bath salts
-Decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana
What Happens Next?
The bills were going to print Thursday night. They must age for three days, so voting is expected to begin Saturday. Lawmakers hope to wrap up Monday.
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