Errigo, Young comment on state 'budget extender' as negotiations continue

Assembly members were in the chamber late Thursday and some said they hoped to vote on two of the non-controversial budget bills, for aid to localities and capitol spending, that the Senate had already passed.

The state Assembly gaveled into session at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to pass several budget-related bills.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Republican, did not respond to a request for comment.

Cuomo and lawmakers blew past the state's Friday deadline to have a spending plan in place, unable to reach agreement on issues like removing most 16- and 17-year-olds from the state's adult court system and extending a lucrative, expired tax credit for New York City builders.

He said he wants a final deal - but also that it would be better to wait until there is more clarity about federal budget cuts to NY and other states.

For weeks, Cuomo has stated his preference for a budget that would allow him to tinker with it throughout the year, controlling disbursements without legislative approval.

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, said this year's budget process has been "extremely dysfunctional".

Albany Common Councilman Richard Conti tells Newschannel 13 the budget also includes $12.5 million dollars of state aid for Albany, which is considered critical for the city's own budget.

Cuomo had said a short time earlier that he would keep negotiating on a budget as long as lawmakers stayed in Albany.

Civil rights groups alarmed over retreat on police reforms
Consent decrees are binding legal agreements, and once signed, they are overseen by a federal judge and an appointed monitor. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a critical review of all police reform agreements, including the one in Cleveland.

But at a news conference in Albany he said the budget extender passed Monday ensured the government would continue to run even without a final agreement.

"It's shameful what we're doing to our families", one unhappy Democrat said of the way negotiations have dragged on.

The $40 billion budget extender authorizes essential funding in order to keep government operations afloat and to avoid a government shutdown. Thoughtful and responsible public policy has been adopted in 48 other states and it is unconscionable that any New Yorker would want to continue this abhorrent practice. The Senate did start passing bills Tuesday night and on Wednesday, as did the Assembly.

"It's important that we not put our financial feet in cement", Cuomo said.

"The Assembly is still here, we're ready to work", said Assembly Speaker Democrat Carl Heastie, repeating his demand that Cuomo send the proposals to legislators to begin debate.

But it's "likely" some of the almost 150,000 workers on the state's payroll will get their pay later than usual this week, according to the state Comptroller's Office.

"School districts need the certainty in their budgets", he said.

The compromise now floating about Albany waiting for a final deal would leave the decisions up to local experts, such as social workers, to decide on a case-by-case basis, the official said.

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