Updated 03/14/2013 09:54 PM
State budget negotiations held in Albany
A joint budget conference committee meeting was held with all of the legislative leaders. They have announced spending targets for the state budget. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has more.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- State leaders are very close to reaching a deal for what could be a record early state budget and following a series of closed door meetings with Governor Andrew Cuomo, we’re hopeful a deal could be reached by Friday.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, “We're hopeful, we're hopeful. I don't want to set unrealistic goals, but we're hopeful.”
But despite the optimism from top Assembly and Senate lawmakers, Governor Andrew Cuomo says there's more work to be done.
“As I've said to you many times, one thing I've learned in Albany, you're either over the goal line or you’re not and we are not yet over the goal line,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo says he plans to meet with Senators Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, along with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, in New York City on Friday. The governor says a proposal to increase the state's minimum wage and business tax cuts remain under discussion.
“Everything is on the table,” Cuomo said. “There's nothing off the table at this point, we're talking about a number of options.”
It was a day of committee meetings and private meetings between the governor and top legislative officials. Lawmakers and the governor did agree to additional spending in the budget, including $290 million in education aid and $40 million for mental hygiene. Lawmakers remain concerned that $120 million in cuts to the office of people with developmental disabilities will hurt the state's most vulnerable.
But Cuomo says he wants to see those spending reductions impact administrative overhead and high salaries in programs that receive state funding.
Cuomo said, “We want the reduction to be borne by the administrative overhead and the executive salaries and the executive expenses rather than the cost of the direct care and the direct supervision.”
The budget is due April 1st, but lawmakers expect to have most of the spending plan voted on by March 21, a full 10 days early.