ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – This week on Empire State Weekly, after missing the April 1st deadline, lawmakers passed a budget extender, allowing closed-door debates over the finalized budget to continue. Lawmakers wrapped debates Friday while unsure when discussions will resume on Monday the 10th.

Thomas DiNapoli, the State Comptroller, spoke on the ongoing budget process calling it “stressful.” He explained that while the budget deadline was extended to April 10th, the deadline will need to be extended again because an additional payroll will be due. Until a budget is passed, lawmakers won’t get paid. DiNapoli said the “bottom line” is lawmakers need to get the budget done to avoid creating tension with the state workforce.

Also this week, schools across the state have experienced an increase in hoax threats known as “swatting,” the practice of calling in a threat to police that an active shooter is at a school or other location, with the goal of drawing large numbers of police to the area. David Allen Little, the Executive Director of the Rural Schools Association, explained the hoax threats to schools are disruptive and impactful. He likened the threats to “duck and cover” drills popular during the cold war area. “I grew up with getting under your desk, thinking that would somehow save you from an atomic blast. And now children are coming to school wondering whether they’re going to survive the day. And to think that that doesn’t have an impact on them is very naive.”

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