NYS budget due next week, negotiations continue

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Budget is due April 1, and funding for several issues—from education to public health—is being negotiated.

Several Democrat state lawmakers rallied virtually Monday with the Alliance for Quality Education in support of the Senate & Assembly one-house budget proposals, pushing for the enacted budget to “hold the line.” Both include a full phase-in of Foundation Aid, and they would increase revenues by about $7 billion. 

“It doesn’t matter if you’re Black, you’re white, Latino, Asian, whether you’re from Mars, education is the key to uplift all families,” Senator Robert Jackson said.  

In Albany, Capital Region Democrats are also making the push to put money into Wadsworth Labs. They’re calling for $750 million in the enacted budget to consolidate and rebuild as the labs are currently spread over multiple sites.

“The facility has been outdated for years, by all accounts outdated, and now we need those state-of-the-art facilities to match and reclaim this world class status,” said Assemblymember Pat Fahy.

Meanwhile, Republicans publicly focused their efforts outside of the budget, on pushing a resolution to repeal Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 11 p.m. curfew on bars and restaurants. 

“Why is it we can lift curfews on gyms, casinos, bowling alleys and pool halls, but we can’t do it on restaurants and bars?” Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay said.

In a call with reporters Monday, Budget Director Robert Mujica said that the executive and legislative staffs are meeting 18 hours a day to negotiate a budget by the end of the month. Mujica also said more than $5 billion has been identified that “could be used to restore all of the reductions in the executive budget proposal.”

In a statement, Communications Director for the NYS Senate Democratic Majority Mike Murphy said, “It is amazing that they found $5 billion just a week after our one house budget passed. Our position remains the same: we need to ensure all New Yorkers are protected and we can pass a budget that doesn’t rely on one shots and austerity but creates long term equity.”

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