The state budget is due April 1, making the upcoming week in Albany a critical one. While there are outstanding issues yet to be resolved, one of the most controversial is a proposal to raise the age of criminal liability to 18. State House Reporter Zack Fink has the story.
For many city Democrats, raising the age of criminal responsibility is the most important issue they are hoping to address in this year's state budget.
"On the policy side, of course 'Raise the Age' is probably our Number One policy issue," Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said.
New York and North Carolina are the only two states in the nation that try 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo first proposed raising the age in 2015, but State Senate Republicans would not go along with it.
This time around, there appears to be more openness to it, but Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan says there are still some of the same concerns which helped defeat it two years ago, including more funding for family court.
"There are a lot of people who feel that if it's not properly funded, then there is no point in doing it. At the end of the day, I think we can work those things out," Flanagan said. "The money is probably far less problematic than actual public policy related to it."
Republicans are considering splitting non-violent offenders from violent ones, with the latter still being tried as adults.
But some want to see a brand new system, even for the most violent offenders.
"Too many of our young people, their entire future's are being taken away when they're 16- or 17-year-olds, when they are committing non-violent offenses and misdemeanors," said State Senator Jeff Klein, the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference.
"I think the second piece of 'Raise the Age' has to be the creation of what we are calling a youth court," Klein continued.
"I would hope that my Senate Republican colleagues realize that even Jeff Sessions's home state of Alabama did this six years ago, so I think it's high time that we catch up with the rest of the nation," Heastie said.
A bill was introduced in the North Carolina legislature to raise the age earlier this month. It has bi-partisan support, including from law enforcement groups.
Both houses of North Carolina's legislature are controlled by Republicans.