State lawmakers working to meet deadline for completed state budget

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – State lawmakers insist the New York State budget is now locked down and the bills are being printed and delivered, which means a decision should be clear by midnight.

The bills, delivered this Tuesday afternoon, indicate that legislators will be voting on the rest of the budget at some point tonight.

[MORE: 2015-16 State Aid Projections]

Legislators say they’re increasing school aid by about $1.6 billion. That means every school district will have more money for this upcoming school year. How much that actually is depends on the district.

The governor, however, tied that money to education reforms. They include new rules for turning around failing schools, a new process for dismissing ineffective teachers, and a plan for the State Education Department to revise teacher evaluations.

“We’ve now come to some resolution. The most controversial piece the last two days has been the teacher evaluation piece. And what we’ve done there is essentially taken the legislature and the governor out of this and we’ve set up certain parameters and we’ve given this to the board of regents,” said Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, who is on the Education Committee.

Also included is #500 million for high-speed broadband access.

“You have power, you have phone. It’s a requirement. The federal government made it a requirement. It’s probably where we should be with Internet access for every resident,” said Berne Supervisor Kevin Crosier.

Crosier told NEWS10 ABC about two-thirds of the residents in his town don’t have access to the internet.

The money allocated in the budget for this is part of a larger initiative. The governor calls it a partnership with the private sector.  They too, he says, will contribute at least $500 million. The goal is to ensure statewide high speed broadband access by the end of 2018.

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