Updated 03/21/2013 07:42 AM
Budget agreement reached
Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders announce an agreement on a more than $135 billion state budget for 2013-2014. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has more on what's included in the budget and what didn't make the cut.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- An agreement on a 2013-14 state budget has been reached in concept as many contentious issues such as marijuana decriminalization and changes to the state's gun control law were laid aside in order to forge a deal.
Governor Cuomo said, "Nothing is dropped. We're going to start work on other issues. We might have an agreement with other issues. We want to get the budget itself underway."
Governor Cuomo and state legislative leaders announced the agreement on a $135 billion budget that includes an extension of the state's millionaire's tax for three years and a phased-in raise to the state's minimum wage to $9 a hour, up from the current $7.25. Despite the announcement, many of the specifics, including cuts to mental health programs, were yet to be determined.
Cuomo said, "The numbers that we are giving you are approximate. We're still dotting i's and crossing t's."
Lawmakers were able to secure a deal that includes a $350 million rebate check program for families earning between $40,000 and $300,000. Under the plan, families with children 18 and younger receive a $350 check in 2014.
Senate IDC Leader Jeff Klein said, "And here we are today coming together with a budget which I think is the most family friendly budget I've ever seen in my years in the state Legislature."
While the state's minimum wage is increasing to $9, Senate Republicans were able to win a combined $650 million tax cut and credit package for both middle-income families and businesses. Among the agreements is an eventual, three-year phase out of a surcharge on a utility tax known as 18a."
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos said, "We reached a consensus on the minimum wage that I think is fair and will not be destructive to job creation."
Budget bills were printed Wednesday evening, and lawmakers could finalize voting by Sunday, making this one of the earliest spending plans passed recent in state history. Cuomo said he will not issue messages of necessity to waive the three-day aging process for bills.