New York Governor Kathy Hochul has not ruled out implementing another temporary stopgap budget measure by next week as negotiations for a broader spending plan continue. Hochul is seeking amendments to the state’s 2019 bail law that would broaden the circumstances in which judges may consider bail for defendants facing serious criminal charges. Additionally, the governor is pushing for a statewide housing plan to add 800,000 units over the next ten years.
With Passover beginning on Wednesday and Easter on Sunday, both lawmakers and Hochul face a challenging holiday calendar. The temporary spending measure funding state government, approved earlier this week, is set to expire on Monday. New York’s fiscal year began on April 1, but the budget deadline has been missed.
Hochul emphasized the importance of getting the budget right and stated that negotiations would resume in earnest early next week. Talks surrounding bail law changes have dominated recent discussions among top lawmakers. Although Democratic leaders in the state Senate and Assembly have not supported the proposed change, they have indicated a willingness to compromise, provided the law’s original intent to address criminal justice system inequities is preserved.
The governor also aims to expedite housing development by fast-tracking qualified projects, even if they lack local approval, while increasing spending on infrastructure like water and sewer systems. Tax issues, a higher minimum wage, and charter school expansion have also been under negotiation over the past three months.
If budget negotiations extend into the next month, it may create difficulties for school districts needing to estimate their state funding in order to establish their own spending plans.
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