Lawmakers are looking to add another $4 billion in additional spending to Hochul’s record $216 billion plan, but details on the final proposal remained elusive as sources speculated that negotiations could extend beyond Friday.
After blowing past last Friday’s budget deadline, Hochul and the Democratic-controlled state Legislature on Monday passed a last-minute budget “extender” to fund payroll obligations through midnight Thursday.
The delay is due to legislators hashing out details of the controversial criminal justice policy as well as “a host of non-budget issues that were thrown into the mix.”
Lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly were on track to meet privately to discuss outstanding issues Wednesday evening.
One measure still on the table is the controversial expansion of Kendra’s Law, which permits court-ordered Assisted Outpatient Treatment, or AOT, and community supervision in cases of serious mental illness. The amended provision could include the involuntary commitment of people with mental illness following a judge’s decision.
Lawmakers are also close to a deal on rolling back the state’s controversial bail reform laws, mulling changes such as making more hate and gun crimes bail eligible.
They’re deliberating a measure that would allow judges to consider an individual’s criminal history to determine whether they could cause harm to a person or group of people.
For the Buffalo Bills new stadium, Hochul’s $1.4 billion project will be funded with taxpayers covering $600 million and residents of Erie County chipping in another $250 million. The teams’ billionaire owners, Terry and Kim Pegula, will foot $550 million of the price tag.
Measures still under consideration include:
- An extension of the pandemic-era “alcohol to-go” law
- Relief for high prices at the gas pump
- A plan to revamp the state’s ethics agency, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics
- More spending for home care workers, distressed hospitals, and SUNY and CUNY students.
- Increased funding aimed at combating discrimination against Asian-Americans