The New York Daily News reports the budget is expected to exceed Governor Kathy Hochul’s initial $216 billion ask.
Insiders said both the Assembly and the Senate were mostly in agreement on a framework for changes to the state’s bail and discovery laws, an 11th-hour request from Hochul that has stymied and slowed down talks.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie were expected to present the pubic safety proposals to rank and file lawmakers late Tuesday evening.
Criminal justice advocates, fearful that changes to bail reforms enacted in 2019 will lead to more people being imprisoned simply because they are poor, pleaded with lawmakers to reject any overhauls.
One legislative source said that moving past the public safety reforms will allow negotiations on other issues including child care funding and subsidies and a potential suspension of the state’s gas tax to advance.
While the state’s revenue bill was one of the measures expected to be prepared late Tuesday, the gasoline tax reprieve and Hochul’s plan to fast-track licenses for a trio of downstate casinos were not likely to be included. They could still appear in other budget bills later in the week, the source said.
An agreement appears to have been reached on an overhaul of the state’s beleaguered ethics panel that has so far failed to appease good government groups.
At the same time, sources confirmed that an extension of a controversial tax abatement for real estate developers that Hochul was seeking after a revamped version in her original budget proposal was rejected appears to be off the table.
The governor on Monday defended the secretive nature of budget negotiations, maintaining that everything has been “normal” despite the delays and frustration from lawmakers over the last-minute inclusion of her public safety proposals and millions in state funds for a new Buffalo Bills stadium.
Hochul also defended the deal she struck with the Bills’ billionaire owners that could cost New York up to $1.13 billion in state subsidies despite backlash from political opponents and lawmakers.
She said, “It is not majority taxpayer-funded, I want to be clear on that. The state share is 43%. So that’s not the majority, but that’s historically low for any public financing from the state.”