Possible deal on state budget emerges

The $152 billion budget proposal in January did not including funding to offset Cuomo's $15 minimum wage, which would not apply to Direct Service Professionals because their salaries are set by the state and the non-profits that employ them are largely funded through Medicaid.

Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan said he will call his members back when and if there is a deal with Assembly Democrats and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

They would have packed in all the things this budget ought to have - including justice reforms like raising the age of criminal responsibility so that 16- and 17-year-old defendants aren't automatically treated as adults; voting reforms to make elections more accessible to citizens; and campaign finance reforms to diminish the influence of big money.

Stavisky said the understanding in the state Senate as of Tuesday evening had been that raising the age would be included in a later revenue bill, which is often referred to as "the big ugly", as it often contains controversial and hard aspects of budget legislation.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced midday that a budget deal was close at hand.

"With this compromise, this solution, I spoke to the conference about it and other than some detailed language I'd say were OK with it", Heastie said.

The agreement strongly resembles the "Affordable New York" proposal put forth by Governor Cuomo early this year.

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, said this year's budget process has been "extremely dysfunctional". He said lawmakers could head home for Easter and Passover and return in a few weeks to pass a budget.

"Many of us in legislature have fought tirelessly, alongside service providers, direct care workers and families for this since the beginning, and today we were victorious in getting direct care professionals the support they deserve", said during the rally in Albany.

The budget extension legislation did include $190 million to support airport improvement projects, including $36.1 million for the Plattsburgh International Airport, which is being overhauled and updated.

The Legislature on Monday approved a short-term budget "extender", an emergency maneuver that kept the state operating through May.

"On issues such as Raise the Age, there are political and ideological differences between the Senate and Assembly".

State budget starts coming together.

"There's no great rush at this point to get anything done", Cuomo said, pointing to the late May expiration date of the extender.

"We don't want to wait until the end of August, the end of racing season in the Capital Region for ride sharing", McDonald said.

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. But a final deal still may not appear until the end of April.

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