NYS lawmakers continue budget talks

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State lawmakers are plugging away to pass a budget by the April 1 deadline. Tuesday afternoon, leaders held a General Budget Conference Committee meeting dubbed the “mothership” to kick off the real discussions now that the houses have laid out their proposed budgets. 

“We’re committed to passing a budget that is on time, responsible and effective,” NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.

The Senate and Assembly adopted their one-house budget resolutions Monday. Lawmakers say the proposals are fairly similar to each other.

“There’s a substantial level of overlap among, I’d say, the Senate and Assembly budget resolutions, including major investments in education and healthcare,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

“The Senate Majority budget improves educational opportunities, increases school aid, it implements statewide universal pre-k. It asks the wealthiest New Yorkers and large corporations to do a little more to help in New York’s recovery,” said Stewart-Cousins.

But those tax proposals for wealthier New Yorkers are a subject of criticism from Republicans. 

“Our Conference’s position is this budget will only continue the exodus from New York State,” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.  

“We want to make sure that in our adopted budget we encourage individuals and businesses to stay in New York, and we need to do our best to show that New York is a place to start and grow a business and help our economy rebound from this pandemic,” said Assemblymember Ed Ra.

Talks about marijuana legalization are being held outside of the budget. The Senate Majority Leader says there’s an impasse on the issue of impaired driving. 

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