Budget deal could be reached Friday
Update as of 7:00 a.m. Friday:
Legislative leaders say they expect to have a final agreement on a state budget later today. They need a deal by midday in order to be on schedule for an on time budget when the fiscal year ends on Monday.
Update as of 4:45 p.m. Thursday:
Legislative leaders are less hopeful now that a budget agreement can be reached Thursday because there are too many unresolved details.
Legislative leaders are continuing their closed door meetings with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. They say they still have many details to decide and may not have a final agreement until midday Friday.
Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein says all the major issues are still being discussed.
“Property tax and renter relief, universal pre-K, the charter school issues,” Klein said. “We’re very, very close to agreement on everything.”
Klein and Senate GOP Co-Leader Dean Skelos have rejected a proposal that would have linked the DREAM Act, which would offer tuition aid to undocumented immigrants, with an education tax credit sought by the Catholic Church and charter schools.
Additionally, just one day after it was revealed the FBI is looking into some of the dealings of two lawmakers, Klein says an ethics reform package is being hashed out but did not offer details.
Legislative leaders say they expect to have a deal on the state budget by the end of the day, but are revealing no details.
Emerging from a leaders meeting, the Senate and Assembly leaders say they are “moving toward a framework” for a budget deal, and expect to meet with some of their rank and file members, then gather for a final closed door session before making an announcement. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is optimistic.
“I expect we’ll have a deal today,” Silver said.
But the leaders would not comment on where they stand on issues like funding pre-kindergarten, a possible property tax freeze or ethics reforms, saying each agreement now hinges on accord with all of the other issues.
“Nothing is closed until everything is closed,” the speaker said.
Lawmakers hope to print the bills by Friday night and pass all of them in time to make Monday’s end-of-the-fiscal-year deadline.