New York state lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul face a pressing deadline to finalize the state budget agreement or approve a sixth temporary extension by next Tuesday, as failure to do so may disrupt paychecks for thousands of state employees scheduled for May 4, according to a letter from state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. Workers at the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs, paid on May 8, also require a spending measure by May 4 to cover their payroll.
Despite Gov. Hochul’s optimism that a deal could be reached by week’s end, state lawmakers considered this to be an overly positive assessment, making it likely that the state budget will be more than a month past its April 1 due date. New York’s budget is already the latest spending plan in over a decade.
Previously, lawmakers and Hochul disagreed on changing the state’s 2019 cash bail law and the governor’s housing policy proposal. Now, with the bail issue resolved and Hochul’s housing plan off the table, they are focusing on addressing illegal cannabis sales that have hindered the legal marketplace.
Republicans urged Gov. Hochul to allow sufficient time for reviewing any finalized budget agreement, requesting that she not issue a “message of necessity” to waive the three-day time period for bills to be introduced and voted on. This would enable New Yorkers to review the final agreement themselves.
As lawmakers grow increasingly pessimistic about reaching a budget deal this week, the budget is expected to address various issues, including public safety, mass transit funding, and health care. Meanwhile, temporary stopgap measures have kept state workers paid and the government funded.
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