ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — State government is still operating even without a final budget, which was due April 1. On Monday, Governor Hochul submitted a bill to the legislature proposing extending the budget deadline to April 10. Issuing an extender will allow state operations to continue to run and get state employees paid on time.
“Well the extenders only for a week, so as people know this week is Passover, Good Friday, Easter, there’s a lot of holidays that are coming up this week and next week, so depending how much negotiations happen we may need another extender after this one week,” explained Assembly member Harvey Epstein.
In a statement, Governor Kathy Hochul pointed to public safety, housing and education as being concerns for all New Yorkers and issues taken up in this year’s budget. She said“…Any budget deal must make progress on these core issues. I have been negotiating in good faith with the legislature, but it’s clear there is more work to be done before we reach an agreement.”
The extender bill did not include any policy changes, something that has been done in previous years according to Blair Horner, executive director at NYPIRG, “To jam policy initiatives into an extender is a declaration of war with the Legislative branch.” But Horner said the legislature and the Governor are supposedly on the same team. “I would think that cooler heads would prevail in terms of negotiating this. The most important thing is not to let the government to shut down, to get negotiations done and to wrap up the budget as quickly as possible,” said Horner. Even with the extender, lawmakers cannot get paid until a budget is finalized.