Updated 03/20/2013 06:55 AM
No deal yet on state budget
Tuesday afternoon’s meeting between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senate leaders yielded some progress on a budget. But as Capital Tonight’s Nick Reisman reports, policy issues, including talk of changing parts of the much-debated SAFE Act, made their way onto the bargaining table.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- There's no budget deal yet as state lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo turn their attention from fiscal issues to policy concerns. After a day of marathon meetings with Cuomo and Senate leaders, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told reporters that changes the state's new gun control law are under consideration as part of those budget negotiations.
“Well, there's an inconsistency or an apparent inconsistency that you can go to a range with 10, but you can only possess seven. You can't buy 10, you can only bring seven but you can go with 10,” said Silver.
Speaking to reporters, Cuomo said he would not support scrapping the seven round provision. But it's not just the gun control law that's among the non-budget issues in the actual budget negotiations. Lawmakers are also discussing the chance of decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana for New York City in order to curtail stop and frisk arrests.
“Certainly in New York City you see young people time and time again being charged with a criminal penalty for carrying small amounts of marijuana. I hope we can accomplish that, I hope we can get it done,” said Senate IDC Leader Jeff Klein.
Legislative leaders and Cuomo are also considering more than $700 million in tax breaks, but they won't take effect until the next fiscal year. Among the proposals: A check of up to $500 to middle-income households with at least one child.
Klein said, “The conversations are ongoing. We're still on the same page about we know we need to do the minimum wage increase, we know we have to do small business tax credits, we know we have to do a family tax cut probably in the form of a check.”
The day began on a positive note that lawmakers could reach a budget deal with the governor by late Tuesday.
“I'm optimistic. As you know, I'm always optimistic that we will have a final agreement at some point today,” said Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos.
And ended on a not-so-positive one on the chances of a budget deal.
Silver said, “Uh, no it's still cloudy. It's still cloudy.”
Cuomo told reporters late Tuesday that a deal may not be reached on the budget by the end of the week. A final spending plan isn't due until April 1st, but lawmakers are leaving Albany to observe the Passover and Easter holidays.