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Albany Lawmakers Reach State Budget Deal

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State leaders have reached an agreement on the state budget that will be voted on next week in time to meet the April 1 deadline. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

ALBANY - The negotiations went deep into Friday night, but budget bills have now been printed and they are expected to be voted on Monday.

"The state budget, number one, maintains the fiscal discipline that the state government has shown. It lives within the two percent spending cap that has been set," said Governor Andrew Cuomo. "The all-funds budget, as it's called, is $137.9 billion."

The budget includes $1.5 billion in property tax relief, a priority for Cuomo, who is seeking re-election this year. There is also a renters credit for New York City residents totaling $170 million over two years.

The budget provides funding for universal pre-kindergarten, a priority for Mayor Bill de Blasio, although without the tax hike he'd originally sought.

"$300 million for New York City. Exactly what Mayor de Blasio asked for," said state Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein. "And I think this is exciting. We have an opportunity to do something historic, making sure that 4-year-olds in the city of New York have real universal pre-K."

The budget includes protections for charter schools and blocks the mayor from charging them rent.

One issue that remains unresolved is campaign finance reform. There will only be a limited pilot program in the budget.

"The apparent proposal to address this simply limits public financing to the comptroller's race, a race which accounts for 4 percent of the fundraising in New York State," said Bill Mahoney of the New York Public Interest Research Group.

Campaign finance reform is still being negotiated. In an exclusive interview with NY1, Klein said that it can be voted on as a stand-alone bill next week, assuming there is an agreement.

"During this budget process, we still need to do campaign finance reform with a public match," Klein said. "We waited a long time. This is a very important issue. Now is the time to make sure we have real campaign finance reform with a public match."

All bills in Albany need to age three days, which is why there was such a rush to get them into print Friday night. This paves the way for a vote Monday, meaning that New York State will likely meet the April 1 deadline and have its fourth consecutive on-time budget.

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