NY Lawmakers Scramble To Get Budget Done Amid Pandemic

Photo: Matt H. Wade / CC BY 3.0

ALBANY — Despite all the energy being put into responding to the coronavirus pandemic in New York, lawmakers still have a budget deadline to meet.

But with so much uncertainty, and an order of social distancing, the budget is being handled through remote voting by using teleconference services and working in their districts.

“We have to finish the budget to tell you the size of the budget,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

The budget for the state’s new fiscal year is due on Wednesday, April 1.

“We do a budget on the projections we now have,” Cuomo explained. “If we get more funding, we increase the allocations. If we don’t get more funding, we reduce the allocations.”

If the government provides additional funding, Cuomo said New York could have more money later on.

“But am I going to say to the people of this state ‘I believe the federal government is going to deliver money to the state government?’ Heard it before and it didn’t happen,” he said.

Last week, the Governor said education aid could be cut if the federal government doesn’t deliver. In a column, Assemblyman Ed Ra said the “state budget requires decisive, bipartisan action.”

The Governor said that it’s unlikely a deal will be struck on legalizing marijuana in the budget. He did say reforms to bail reform have to get done.


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