New York Capital brief:

Legislature Advances Extender, One Budget Bill

Today, the New York State Legislature passed a budget extender and emergency appropriations measure to ensure the State can continue operations through April 4th. Though legislators will not be paid until a final budget is enacted, today’s passage ensures state employees will have timely paychecks.

Due to the Easter holiday, the NYS Legislature was aiming to come to an agreement this week to avoid a late State Budget. Despite the looming April 1 budget deadline, lawmakers have conceded that negotiations will continue into next week.

Legislative leaders in both the Assembly and Senate have characterized negotiations as faring better than years’ prior. Despite this, Senate Leader Stewart-Cousins has noted that talks are firmly “in the middle,” while Speaker Heastie told reporters this week, “I think everybody’s under the understanding that you can’t always get everything you want.”

The NYS Legislature also passed the first of ten budget bills today. The Debt Service bill is typically the first of the budget portions to be passed by both houses as it deals with outstanding state debts. The timely passage of this legislation ensures that the State’s credit rating will remain unaffected.

Budget talks will continue after the holiday and into next week. Education aid, Cost-of-Living-Adjustment for human service providers, retail worker safety, tenant protections, and tax credits for real estate developers are all expected to remain contentious issues.

One-House Budget Proposals Put Forward

Earlier this month the New York State Legislature approved their one-house budget resolutions, which are separate budget outlines that represent another step towards a final State Budget. The resolutions are a consolidated form of the one-house budget bills.

Both Senate and Assembly one-house budget bills are now available. These bills mirror the Governor’s Executive Proposal in structure but deviate on both matters of funding and policy. Recent years have seen a concerted effort to eschew policy provisions in order to focus the budget solely on fiscal matters, though policy items tend to be inserted as part of the negotiations.

We anticipate negotiations may be challenging. After the Executive Proposal was released in January, independent fiscal monitors noted that an additional $1 billion may be available to the State. The Senate one-house budget proposal is $13.4 billion higher than the Executive’s. The Assembly one-house totals $245.8 billion in spending, $13.1 billion more than the Executive Budget Proposal.