ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– The budget is now officially a month late, but progress is being made to pass it soon.
Lawmakers are now debating budget legislation. This comes after some of the bills were printed Monday morning and over the weekend.
Senate majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins told reporters, “It’s got to be the beginning of the end now.”
When asked if it was worth the wait, Stewart-Cousins said she would have liked the budget to be done sooner.
“This has been a very policy laden budget and a lot of the policies had to be parsed through, so we did,” said Stewart-Cousins. “I’m happy to the extent that I think we have a budget that has significant wins for the people of New York, and we are ready to pass it and go on to the next.”
Republican Assemblyman, Chris Tague weighed in.
“It’s a good feeling to be close to the end, but the whole process has been a disaster,” said Tague. “Again, we are probably going to go into today, probably with a message of necessity from the governor. The bills aren’t going to age properly, like they’re supposed to. No transparency. It’s pretty bad when you get here at 10 o’clock in the morning to go into session for noon time and it’s the first time you’ve seen any budget bills.”
Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers agree there was a lot of policy in this budget.
Some of the big items included bail reform, charter schools, and housing. Housing was eventually dropped from negotiations, as was a ban on menthol cigarettes. Stewart-Cousins shared a reason why.
“The menthol ban didn’t get in because we do expect, from what the federal government is saying—and they have been working on this for at least over a year, that they say they will be presenting guidance and it looks likely to be a ban in the fall.”
Stewart-Cousins expects the budget to be finalized on Tuesday.