New York state budget talks collapse

Lawmakers have agreed to a "Raise the Age" provision that would increase the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, making NY one of the last states to do so.

The $153.1 billion budget increases education aid by $1.1 billion. A spokeswoman for Assemblyman Clyde Vanel (D-QueensVillage) said the Assembly would likely still be legislating until Thursday morning, and expressed hope that there would be broad agreement on legislation to raise the age of automatic adult criminal prosecutions from 16 to 18 years old.

The budget was due by Saturday, when the state began a new fiscal year.

The departure of the Senate Wednesday and a growing eagerness to conclude disputes by the Assembly, which did not send members home, all helped to prod the sides to a final deal.

"I applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this comprehensive budget that will further our state's economic growth, support the middle class and build a better NY for future generations".

Lawmakers have been at work for nearly two weeks trying to close down a budget, including the final push that saw them at the Capitol for more than 34 straight hours as the final bill was passed shortly after 5 p.m.

The state Assembly passed its first four budget bills Wednesday afternoon following votes in the Senate a day earlier, but an elusive revenue bill lawmakers say contains several controversial deals has yet to be introduced in either house.

"We will continue our efforts to raise the age of adult criminal responsibility because it is long overdue and our communities demand a resolution that seeks meaningful intervention and rehabilitation for juvenile offenders", Heastie said.

The spending measure also includes $2.5 billion in funding for water quality and water and sewer upgrades. Late Friday evening, the Governor issued an official statement granting the state Legislature a "grace period" over the April 1 weekend to work towards a deal on outstanding issues.

She also said funding for the DREAM Act, which offers financial aid for undocumented students to pursue an education, was off the table in negotiations.

Andrew Cuomo says he and legislative leaders have agreed on a budget plan. Private universities, whose leaders said the plan would undermine their schools, will see an increase in state tuition assistance funding. The cost to New York City would amount to a whopping $200 million, the paper reported.

The budget also would allow Uber and Lyft to expand into upstate cities like Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany.

Andrew Cuomo announced that state lawmakers had still not come to agreement on a final budget deal. Cuomo said the issue caused the greatest controversy during negotiations because it is "politically polarizing". They would also be required to live and work in NY for a time after graduation, or the aid would have to be repaid.

"Until the state actually disburses the money it has appropriated to the MTA capital plan, the extra $65 million in capital is monopoly money as far as we're concerned", said Jaqi Cohen of the Straphangers Campaign. The agreement requires those who receive free tuition to live and work in the state for the same number of years that they receive the awards.

  • Larry Hoffman