NYS budget talks sour, won't meet deadline

Posted at 11:40 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 23:41:01-04

State lawmakers were still holding meetings and working late into the evening Friday to make progress on the budget, but no final agreement is expected to be made before the start of the next fiscal year.

The Assembly planned to vote on a state operations bill Friday night that would allow the government to function while other controversial topics in the budget are ironed out.  That vote was never held.

The Senate never returned to session after adjourning Friday afternoon, but Senate members held meetings and were in conference for much of the evening.  The body is expected to return to session Saturday at noon.

Assemblyman Ray Walter, R-Amherst, said budget talks so far have been dysfunctional and are making little progress.

"We can never come to an agreement," he said Friday, discussing certain sticking points that are holding up budget approval.

He mentioned school funding, workers' compensation reform and raising the age of criminal responsibility as the main issues now.

Some are concerned the more contentious issues could be left out of the budget altogether.

Syracuse Republican Senator John DeFrancisco told reporters Friday he thinks "raise the age" will have to be left out in order for a budget to be passed.

State lawmakers don't believe ridesharing legislation will meet the same fate.  A spokesperson for Senator Chris Jacobs, R-Buffalo, says that issue has been laid to rest and should be included in the final budget.

Lawmakers hope to have a budget figured out by Monday, but say there is enough money for the state to function until Wednesday.