Lawmakers headed toward late budget

Mar 31, 2017

State lawmakers are still trying to negotiate a deal, but are heading toward a late budget. The state Senate adjourned for the day Friday about 4 p.m., saying they would come back when there was something to vote on.

There are tentative deals on increasing tuition aid to college students, approving a bond act to protect water infrastructure and allowing ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft to operate outside of New York City.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) said the trouble is getting everyone to agree to all of the details at once.

“It’s like a game of whack-a-mole,” DeFrancisco said. “It’s the same issues we’ve been talking about for the last three weeks.”

DeFrancisco says he expects a budget to pass before Monday, but predicts that in order to do so many of the most contentious issues will be "jettisoned."

Another outstanding issue is whether to raise the age of when teens are treated as adults in state prisons and courts from 16 to 18. Legislators still have not agreed how to treat 16- and 17-year-olds charged with violent crimes.

Sen. Patrick Gallivan, one of the leading senators negotiating the measure known as Raise the Age, said even if it does not end up in the state budget, he’s confident it will get done before the session ends in June.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.