ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)–On Tuesday, the legislative leaders met with the governor for roughly two hours to talk about the state budget. The deadline has been now pushed back to April 10, with lawmakers expected to return to Albany after the holiday weekend, something they weren’t originally scheduled to do.
“I look at it as a negotiating tact,” said Senate Minority Leader, Rob Ortt on Monday. Do I want to come back next week? No. Will I? Obviously. We will come back as we need to. If we have to sit here throughout all next week, then that’s what we got to do, because the public deserves a budget.”
Until a budget is passed, the lawmakers won’t get paid. According to Speaker Carl Heastie on Monday, working on a Bail Reform agreement continues to be a top priority.
“Right now, bail is now taking up pretty much all of the oxygen in the room and everything else is second, ” explained Heastie. “Conversations are still being had, but I’d say it was bail and housing was 90%, bail itself now may be 90%.”
Advocates have called for the governor to redirect her focus from bail reform to housing.
“I spent over 5 years in the shelter system, and the main solution to most of the problems we have are housing— whether people suffering from mental, physical or emotional health issues, once they get into some housing, they are able to make progress from that step,” said Milton Perez, Housing Justice for All Vocal New York.
The governor has proposed building 800,000 homes over the next decade and a housing compact to help New Yorkers struggling with utility bills and retrofit their homes to be more energy efficient. But still, no agreement has been reached on housing.
So far, only one out of ten budget bills have been passed.