Governor Andrew Cuomo remains optimistic that New York State will have it's third consecutive on time budget, but there is still no deal on a spending plan, and it is unclear how far Cuomo is willing to go to ensure the budget passes before the deadline. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
Chronically late budgets once defined dysfunction in Albany, but Governor Andrew Cuomo has made great strides to change that.
"If we get it done on time this year, it will be the first time in 30 years that the state has had three on-time budgets," Cuomo said. "And that's a sign of normalcy and government working, and people have a right to expect their government to work."
The plan this year is to have an early budget, perhaps as soon as March 21. But Cuomo stopped short of saying he would waive the required three-day waiting period for legislation to age once it is written, a process known as a "message of necessity".
He was widely criticized for issuing a message in January in order to quickly pass gun control legislation.
"We want to get it on time. Because of the holidays, it's even pushed the time frame up a little bit more," Cuomo said. "But we're proceeding in an orderly way, and I don't anticipate at this time any reason why we're going to have a mad scramble at the end."
There is still no deal between state lawmakers and Cuomo on the budget, and a number of issues remain unresolved, including whether or not to include a minimum wage hike in the budget.
"I would like to see it get done in the budget. If it's not done by April, then we'll get it done by June," Cuomo said.
Also at issue is $260 million in lost state school aid after the city and teachers' union failed to reach an agreement on teacher evaluations. Democrats in the state Assembly want it restored, but Cuomo does not want that to happen, even though an on-time budget appears to be the governor's top priority.
The governor jokingly compared himself to his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo, saying, "My father got two budgets done on time. This would be my third budget done on time. Not that I want to be competitive with the old man, but I'm just saying."