Updated 03/21/2013 06:29 PM
What's in the state budget?
Lawmakers in Albany reached a deal on the state budget late Wednesday night. The budget includes many high profile items, such as a minimum wage hike. But as Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman reports, it holds back on other policy issues that are still up for debate.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- While a state budget deal has been struck between Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders, there's still a lot to negotiate. A day after state leaders announced a conceptual agreement, those private, four men in a room sessions were still being held.
“We're really just finalizing and fine-tuning some budget items,” Senate IDC Leader Jeff Klein said.
The $143 billion agreement includes a $375 million family rebate program and a phased-in raise to the state's minimum wage, hitting $9 by 2015. But specifics on other items remain unclear. For instance, a surcharge on utility assessments will be phased out over three years, but the dollar amount on the reduction is unclear.
“The exact numbers per year are not there, but it's to be phased out over three years. The language is being drafted as we speak. This is the general framework,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman John DeFrancisco.
And lawmakers were still hopeful that $120 million in cuts to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities could be restored.
“We're still fighting, I'm personally still fighting to try to get some more money. I think there is some restoration, I don't believe it's enough,” State Senator Tom Libous said.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver emerged from a meeting with the governor to say a mix of state and federal funds could restore about half of that money.
Silver said, “The cut will not be six percent. The cut will be less than that. There will be a $60 million restoration as a result.”
A deal on the budget was announced Wednesday evening after lawmakers and Cuomo laid aside more contentious policy issues, such as changes to January's gun control law. But after lawmakers could not agree on how to clarify the ban on high capacity magazines that carry more than seven bullets, that portion of the law may be delayed before it takes effect next month.
Silver said, “There might be just a suspension of the April 15th date to avoid any crisis and give us the ability to keep moving on that.”
Lawmakers expect to be in Albany over the weekend to vote on the budget in rare Saturday and Sunday sessions.