State budget negotiations break down; impasse develops
Rick Karlin and Casey Seiler are reporting in the Times Union what began as a day of optimism ended with state budget negotiations grinding to a halt late Wed., Apr. 5. A late-night rush of action on budget bills in the state Senate on Tuesday, followed by approval of many of the same bills in the Assembly Wednesday, seemed to signal a final deal was in sight. However, the progress ended as both houses waited for the release of three final budget bills. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a press conference at 6 p.m., Wednesday, the three major issues of disagreement that remain include the question of when a revived tax program would expire, one element of the effort to raise the state's age of criminal responsibility to 18 and the level of funding for public charter schools. Cuomo said sharp ideological differences remained between the legislative leaders. "We go from sticking point to sticking point across the morass," he said. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan agreed with Cuomo's assessment of the remaining disputes, but added that K-12 school funding levels and details of the college affordability plan were also unresolved. Assembly Democratic Majority Leader Carl Heastie said education funding was the primary sticking point. Read the full story in the Times Union.