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Lawmakers debate budget priorities as April deadline looms: What will be left out?

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  • Staff Report 

With the deadline for the New York State budget fast approaching, legislative leaders convened in Albany to negotiate the details of their proposed financial plans. The discussions, held on Monday, focused on the budgets passed by both the Senate and Assembly last week. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins highlighted the Senate’s commitment to rejecting education cuts and supporting New Yorkers through various stages of life, emphasizing a balanced approach to budget solutions that safeguard tenants and homeowners.

However, concerns were raised about the overall spending levels. Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt criticized the substantial increase in spending proposed by the Senate, referencing the governor’s initial $233 billion budget proposal and the Senate’s addition of $13.2 billion as examples of excessive expenditure. Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay echoed this sentiment, questioning the necessity of raising taxes and using the state’s reserves amidst reports of stronger than expected state revenue.

As the negotiation process continues, Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie met with Governor Kathy Hochul to discuss reaching a consensus on the budget. Heastie expressed optimism about finalizing an agreement that aligns with the priorities of New Yorkers, underscoring the importance of collaboration between the Assembly, Senate, and Governor’s office in the weeks ahead.