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City Schools To Feel Pinch In State Budget Deal

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TWC News: City Schools To Feel Pinch In State Budget Deal
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New York State lawmakers announced Wednesday night that they have agreed on a budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and several legislative leaders made the announcement shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday night.

Governor Cuomo's office says the spending plan will total $135 billion, without counting federal aid for Hurricane Sandy.

A middle-class tax cut is included as part of the budget agreement. Families with children up to 18 years old that are making between $40,000 and $300,000 annually will receive a $350 check.

A tax on high-income earners will be extended as part of the budget deal.

As NY1 previously reported, the plan also calls for the minimum wage to be raised from $7.25 to $9 over a three-year period.

"Here we are today, coming together with a budget, which I think is probably the most family-friendly budget I've ever seen in my years in the state legislature," said Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein.

The $240 million that New York City schools were docked after the city and teachers' union failed to agree to a teacher evaluation system was not restored as part of the budget deal.

"The city did not receive the $240 million," Cuomo said. "The anticipation in this budget is that the linkage of the evaluations to the state increase will continue."

The governor and state lawmakers were negotiating behind closed doors to resolve other issues, such as amendments to the New York Safe Act (the gun control legislation passed in January), as well as the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana for those targeted in stop, question and frisk operations.

At the end of the day, however, the governor said that those issues could not be resolved right now and would have to be taken up at a later date.

"There is no agreement on any changes to the Safe Act. There's no agreement on stop-and-frisk. There's no agreement on the DREAM Act. There's no agreement on synthetic marijuana. No agreement on bath salts," Cuomo said. "These are all issues that are ongoing discussions."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg had also been seeking a pilot program to install cameras in certain city neighborhoods that would automatically send drivers speeding tickets. That program did not make it into the budget.

Legislators are expected to vote on the budget over the weekend.

Bills are required to age for three days once they are printed.

Cuomo could issue a message of necessity to speed that up, but has said he has no plans to do so.

If approved by April 1, the budget would be the third straight on-time budget.

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