Here And Now – Pigs Fly Edition
They did it, they actually did it. The Senate wrapped up its budget bill passing shortly before midnight. The Assembly took a little longer, getting the job done just after 1 a.m.
It was the first on-time budget in five years. Had it passed just an hour earlier, it would have been the first early budget in 28 years.
As promised by Cuomo, the $132.5 billion budget closes the $10 billion budget deficit with no new taxes.
“Although ‘the millionaire’s tax’ was not included in the final budget agreement, we will continue our efforts to convince our partners that it was and is the right thing to do at this time,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in a post-budget passage statement. (No link).
The protestors did not spend the night in the Capitol, as they weren’t allowed to stay once the Legislature had wrapped up its business. Several hundred of them did sleep in the Empire State Plaza, however, and will be returning for more demonstrations today. (No link).
They did, however, turn the Capitol into a “place of pandemonium well into the night,” writes Thomas Kaplan, banging on the legislative chamber doors as lawmakers rushed to pass the budget before midnight.
There was one arrest. A protestor was charged with harassment and criminal possession of a weapon (?) after smacking a Senate staffer in the head – perhaps accidentally – with a cymbal.
The repeal of the MTA payroll tax may have to wait until next year, said Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
Public schools received a small boost in education aid, but are still experiencing deep funding cuts.
The budget added $18 million a year in tuition assistance for students attending some private religious schools.
NYC wasn’t pleased about its share. “We are dividing up crumbs, and to make matters worse, the crumbs have been divided unfairly,” said Micah Lasher, the city’s lobbyist.
The pro-Cuomo Committee to Save NY has funds left over and will continue to advocate for mandate relief and a property tax cap. The anti-Cuomo budget forces aren’t going away, either.
The Post says the governor’s next focus should be mandate relief – particularly last in, first out.
The Cuomo administration will be paying unionized state workers step increases if their contracts expire without a new deal by Friday. It appears that may be the case. Talks aren’t scheduled to restart with CSEA until next week.
Saratoga County had some $2 million in VLT-generated state aid restored in the budget.
First Girlfriend Sandra Lee has made fighting hunger a priority. Cuomo could, too, if he so desired.
Embattled former Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. is still running his Soundview health center empire in depsite of his legal troubles.
The Post advocates against leniency for disgraced former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi.
Legislators want to prevent public servants from posting crime scene videos and photos online.
The state has removed a contentious tax on IDAs.
With prisoners being counted at their last known addresses, Sen. Betty Little’s district is going to have to get bigger.
Columbia University scientists are criticizing Bloomberg’s attempt to bring a new engineering campus to NYC from schools like Stanford and Cornell.
Rep. Charlie Rangel didn’t have to pay to attend President Obama’s $30,000-a-head fundraiser in Harlem this week.
Disaffected donors are returning to the Obama fold.
The mayoral vote in Rochester’s special election reflected a divide in the Flower City.
Republican NJ Gov. Chris Christie is gaining Democratic supporters.
A funeral mass is being held this morning for the late former Rep. Geraldine Ferraro.
White Plains voters go to the polls today in a special election to replace former Mayor Adam Bradley.
The DN deems Rep. Anthony Weiner a knucklehead.
NYC Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. celebrated his 50th by buying himself a new Harley.
Before turning his campaign funds over to the local DA, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy gave $100,000 to the Suffolk County GOP.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on March 31, 2011 at 8:37 am, and is filed under Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|