ALBANY – Four days into the month of April and there’s still not a state budget agreement in Albany.
On Monday the State Assembly and Senate passed a series of extender bills to keep state government open and operating under spending approved in the previous fiscal year’s budget.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo put forward the emergency extenders after lawmakers failed over the weekend to hash out issues to enact an on-time budget. The extender will keep government fully functional through May 31.
Some of the disagreements remain over raising the age of criminal responsibility, affordable housing tax credits in New York City, and education aid.
In regard to raising the age of criminal responsibility, the governor argues it’s time to raise the age because the state is one of only two in the nation that treat 16- and 17- year-olds as adults.
State Sen. Cathy Young (R-Olean) said the GOP controlled Senate understands the importance of not putting juvenile offenders in the same categories and facilities as adults, but doesn’t want to see the decriminalizing of violent crimes including rape and murder, which she says the Assembly Democrats are pushing. Instead, she and other Republicans say those juvenile offenders should be in separate secure facilities and not adult prisons, and should also have counseling.
The two sides will continue to negotiate on the issue, along with other sticking points, Tuesday, in Albany.