NYS lawmakers work ahead of budget deadline, talk ethics reform

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Lawmakers at the Capitol are working day and night to make sure New York has an on time budget this year. The deadline is April 1.

From increasing the minimum wage to paid family leave and more funding for education, lawmakers in New York are carefully deciding where taxpayer dollars will be heading in the coming year.

Assemblyman John McDonald said the assembly is pretty much in line with the governor’s budget except for one thing.

“The main road block is a lot of the cuts that have been forced on NYC,” he said. “That technically the governor said weren’t going to be cuts, but they’re still in the budget.”

McDonald said it’s important the budget is fair to all parts of the state. On the other side of the aisle, Assemblyman Dan Stec said the big issue will be over the proposed minimum wage increase.

His concern? What happened to talking about last year’s big issue of ethics reform.

“There’s been no discussion about that among legislative leaders this year,” Stec said. “And it’s still unfinished. So here we are a year later and there’s been no follow through at all in the needed ethics reform to Albany.”

In the senate, certain issues that need more attention have been left out of the budget to be decided on later such as the minimum wage and ethics reform. Sen. Neil Breslin said it has removed any major hurdles they would have to face.

“The roadblocks for the first time seem to have been put off and agreed upon to be decided on after the budget period; between now and the end of June,” he said.

He said this tactic will ensure an on-time budget. Sen. George Amedore sayid the number one issue is getting more school funding.

“We can’t go back to the property owners and ask them for more to fund our upstate schools,” he said. “We need to have more foundation aid.”

One thing lawmakers on both sides on the aisle, and in both houses, can agree upon is that the budget needs to be on time. And so far, it looks like that will happen.

Another bill that may be passed soon is the legalization of mixed martial arts in New York State.

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