State budget deadline extended, Blankenbush calls it ‘embarrassing’

State budget
State budget
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 1:24 PM EDT
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ALBANY, New York (WWNY) - At the request of Governor Kathy Hochul, lawmakers in Albany voted to extend the deadline to adopt a new state budget. It was a request that a north country assemblyman calls “embarrassing.”

The governor and legislative leaders missed the April 1 deadline.

Now the deadline is pushed to next Monday.

“New Yorkers are concerned about public safety, the rising cost of housing, and ensuring high-quality schools for all our kids, and any budget deal must make progress on these core issues. I have been negotiating in good faith with the legislature, but it is clear there is more work to be done before we reach an agreement. For that reason, I am submitting a bill to the legislature that would extend the budget deadline to April 10th, giving us the time we need to deliver a final budget that is responsive to the urgent needs of New Yorkers. We must make real progress to make New York more affordable, more livable and safer,” Hochul said in a prepared statement earlier in the day on Monday.

Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R. - 117th District) issued this statement in response:

“What an embarrassing display of governance today from the Democrats who control power in Albany. It’s like Groundhog Day all over again: Democrats want to spend more of our money, want to force even more progressive and dangerous policies on us, fail to deliver an on-time budget they had months to prepare, all while pretending they’re actually in touch with the real crisis facing New Yorkers: affordability.

I’m hopeful that the final budget – whenever that may be – comes together a lot better than the process that’s led us here today.”

State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said the holdup on the budget is due in part because of “big policy issues” that the governor included in her proposal.

Hochul’s proposed budget includes a change to the current bail law to give judges greater discretion by removing the “least restrictive means” standard to ensure a defendant returns to court. Hochul describes it as a clarification of guidelines, but liberal lawmakers have resisted further changes to the state’s bail law.

Lawmakers also were focused on Hochul’s proposal to spur the creation of 800,000 houses within the next 10 years to combat the housing crisis in the state. Some lawmakers have resisted mandates in the governor’s housing plan.

Last year’s budget, Hochul’s first as governor, was approved nine days late.