New York legislative leaders said Thursday that they expect to miss a deadline to pass the new state budget while negotiating with them fellow Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul on its proposals to change sponsorship rules and create new housing.
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins said the delay in the budget for the state’s fiscal year, which begins Saturday, is due in part to the “big policy issues” the governor included in her proposal.
Hochul’s proposed budget includes a change to the existing bail law to give judges greater discretion by removing the “least restrictive means” criterion for ensuring a defendant’s return to court. Hochul describes it as a clarification of the guidelines, but liberal lawmakers have resisted making further changes to the state’s bail law.
“I think there is always room for compromise,” Premier Carl Hasty told reporters on Thursday when asked about the sponsorship changes.
Lawmakers also focused on Hochul’s proposal to spur the construction of 800,000 homes over the next 10 years to combat the state’s housing crisis. Some lawmakers have resisted the mandates in the governor’s housing plan.
Hochul said New York State Public Radio The April 1 deadline will not be met, but “it’s not about racing to the deadline, it’s about racing to get the results right.”
It was not clear how long it would take the governor and lawmakers to reach an agreement.
It is not uncommon for state budgets to fall behind. Last year’s budget, Hochul’s first as governor, was approved nine days late.
“We can’t agree on how much to spend, we can’t agree on how to keep people safe, and a host of other issues,” Senate Republican leader Rob Ort complained. “It’s ridiculous—that the legislature can’t pass a budget to the people in the state of New York.”