We're learning more about the details in the final budget plan. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has the latest on the developments at the Capitol
NEW YORK STATE -- Lawmakers say they've resolved most their disagreements for the 2012-13 fiscal year budget, scoring deals on education spending, infrastructure and merging state agencies. But unlike prior years, this year's budget process could wrap up well before the Sunday deadline thanks to a tax code overhaul in December and a mega deal struck earlier this month on a new retirement system.
“Certainly a lot was resolved last year in terms of setting the path that we would take on in terms of Medicaid spending, in terms of education, increasing aid to education. So a lot of the groundwork was established last year. So this was a very good budget process,” said Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
State lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo already agreed to an $805 million boost in education spending. The only question was how to spend $250 million in competitive grant funding, a figure that Cuomo recently said was only a placeholder. Instead, lawmakers will use $50 million this year for competitive aid and then $25 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year. Cuomo, meanwhile, was able to get his major infrastructure plan into print.
We have the New York’s program that's there, $15 billion in roads and bridges. I want to set up a New York Works board that coordinates all the capitol in the state. We have the billion dollar for Buffalo plan, Tappan Zee Bridge, so there's a lot of issues in the budget,” Cuomo said on Saturday.
Lawmakers also agreed to surrender the comptroller's pre-audit authority, a concession the governor was seeking in his deal.
“It was compromise that was made and again, the comptroller has complete audit powers as he has now,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said.
Meanwhile, a statewide health insurance exchange, part of the national health care law being challenged in the Supreme Court, isn't in the budget as the governor wanted. This weekend Cuomo said he was considering an executive order if the plan wasn't in the budget deal.
Cuomo said, “I would prefer to do it by legislation, but one of the options is the executive order.”
Budget bills could be voted on as early as Wednesday with final passage on Friday.