NYS Budget Negotiations Down to the Wire

Less than one week remains for the Governor and Legislative leaders to finalize negotiations, amend and for each House to pass budget Legislation in order to meet the State’s budget deadline of April 1st.

Pivotal to agreements has been the “Raise the Age” issue, that would increase the age of criminal responsibility in NY from 16 to 18 and prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from serving time in State prison. As of last week, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and the Governor continued to hold closed-door meetings on the issue. Speaker Heastie and majority conference members have openly supported the proposal, while Flanagan continues to field concerns from some GOP members.

>Federal healthcare proposals have also played a major role in State budget negotiations. On Friday, the Governor and Medicaid Director praised House Speaker Ryan’s decision to pull the vote on the American Healthcare Act which was said to have a devastating impact to NY’s Medicaid system, by withholding billions of dollars in federal reimbursement. Both also publicly chastised U.S. House Reps. Collins and Faso for their proposed “Collins-Faso Amendment,” that sought to shift local Medicaid costs to the State.

Other proposals under consideration as part of budget negotiations include K-12 education aid, the Governor’s SUNY/CUNY free tuition proposal, funding for water infrastructure improvements, and efforts to address prescription drug costs. Extension of the State’s “millionaire’s tax” and the legalization of ride-sharing, also continue to be “on the table” and part of the three-way discussions.

Hodes & Landy will continue to utilize this blog to provide updates on the budget process as it unfolds.