Negotiations Continue Over State Budget Plan
There's still no deal on a state budget, which is due at midnight on Friday, but leaders are continuing to negotiate. Zack Fink filed the following report.
Legislative leaders met privately with Governor Andrew Cuomo for a third straight day as negotiations continue in lockdown over a state spending plan, which is due Saturday.
Issues on the table include making college more accessible and expanding taxi ride-sharing upstate.
"We are working towards the upstate Uber issue. I think we are getting close there," said state Senator Jeff Klein of the Bronx. We had a very good conversation about college affordability. Sort of doing something that is a hybrid of what the governor wants and expansion of TAP for kids who want to go to private schools."
Negotiations are also continuing on whether to renew the tax on high income earners, known as the millionaire's tax.
"All of those things are being discussed in relation to a number of the governor's proposals like internet sales tax and things of that nature," said state Senator John Flanagan. "No final resolution, but I'm quite confident we will get there."
Sources say a sticking point in the negotiations has been a plan to raise the cap on charter schools supported by Cuomo and the Senate leaders. Speaker Carl Heastie opposes it.
"Right now, there are 30 charter schools that can be authorized in the city of New York. I don't have the number off the top of my head that can still be done in New York State. So there is no need to even address the charter cap at this point," Heastie said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to push for his mansion tax, which has already been ruled out by the state Senate and Cuomo.
"I'd say progress has been made on a lot of these issues. But when all of these things are interconnected, when there is an issue that's largely important to us or the Senate or the governor and it has not been dealt with, then there is no deal," de Blasio said.
State leaders seem confident they can reach a deal in time and have an on-time state budget. But as Heastie put it earlier, that means two more days of eternity.