NY State lawmakers may finally have made a deal

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – More than a week after session was scheduled to end, state lawmakers may finally have a deal.

Earlier in the week, Governor Andrew Cuomo joined with legislative leaders to announce a framework agreement.

“When the deal was announced, obviously, the details were important and the language becomes vexing, complex, and perplexing at times, but I’m confident that we will have this resolved today,” Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said.

The terms of that are now on paper.

It’s being called the Big Ugly. It’s the last piece of legislation state lawmakers will pass before heading home.

This year, it includes rent control for New York City along with property tax relief that will help many Upstate residents. The latter comes in two forms.

First, the state’s property tax cap will be extended. Secondly is a new property tax rebate program where $3.1 billion will be doled out over the next four years.

“Upstate New York, we pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation, and we need some relief and we need to get our fair share,” Senator George Amedore said.

“To be able to have an upstate rebate tax program to help bring money back into households for people in our area is a good trade off,” Assemblyman John McDonald said.

The legislation also includes several education initiatives. One of them will give private schools $250 million. Legislators said the money would act as reimbursement for mandated services. It also requires that the New York State Education Department be more transparent.

“We made changes that allow for the release of the tests, reduces field testing if not eliminates it,” Flanagan said. “Allows teachers to not only see the exam but to talk about the exam. And it also calls for the Regents to do a review of Common Core.”

Also part of this far reaching bill is giving the governor the power to marry people.

“I’ve had a number of requests,” Cuomo said. “I didn’t have the legal authority. Some of these marriages are very meaningful to me, personally, and I’d like the opportunity to officiate.”

The first round of rebate checks is expected to go out in September 2016. The state assembly and senate is expected to take up the Big Ugly Thursday night.

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