ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)—-The clock is ticking when it comes to an on time state budget.
“We are in what I would like to call this, “the middle of the middle,” explained Senate Majority Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
Exactly when it will be passed is still up in the air.
Stewart-Cousins said at this point, nothing is off the table and that it’s big policy issues that require discussions, including changes to Bail Reform.
The governor wants to provide more clarity to judges and to remove the least restrictive means standard— something the Senate and Assembly didn’t include in their own budget proposals.
“We are working as the governor is putting this forward. She wants to make sure there is clarification of the jurisdiction and the discretion that the judiciary has. We want to help to clarify the judicial discretion, as well as keep the integrity of our bail laws. So, we again— it’s a productive conversation and I have every feeling we can get to a good end.”
Speaker Carl Heastie said, “I think there is always room for compromise, particularly when it comes to clarifying things that we believe are in the law.”
The Senate Minority also weighed in on bail reform.
“We support going further than the governor has proposed, but that does not mean that what she’s doing would be unhelpful,” said Rob Ortt, Senate Minority Leader.
The governor’s office released a statement which said, “Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget makes transformative investments to make New York more affordable, more livable and safer, and she continues to work with the legislature to deliver a final budget that meets the needs of all New Yorkers.”
Speaker Heastie expects his members will be working on the budget this weekend. Leader Stewart-Cousins said if there is significant movement, the Senators will be in Albany as well.