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Final state budget passes after midnight

Apr 01, 2015 6:11 am
Jimmy Vielkind, Josefa Velasquez and Jessica Bakeman are reporting at Capital New York the last state budget bill cleared the New York State Assembly just before 3 a.m., Wed., Apr. 1, as Republican members asked questions and raised concerns about pieces of the $150 billion spending plan. Members of the State Senate passed the last of 13 budget bills at 11:10 p.m. The members of the Assembly’s Democratic majority supported the budget bill that overhauled state education law, however reluctantly. One lawmaker even held his nose as he voted. The bill created a new educator evaluation system, rolls back tenure protections and makes it easier to fire teachers. While many expressed grave concerns about the bill, they argued the final agreement was better for public school teachers and students than Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s original proposal and it was better to accept some changes than risk a late budget.