Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with legislative leaders in both parties for dinner at the Executive Mansion tonight, and all four lawmakers emerged to offer few details on what will be in Tuesday’s budget presentation.
The governor met with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Rockville Centre, Nassau County, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, Ontario County and Senate Minority Leader John Sampson, D-Brooklyn.
Skelos, who was the first to leave the mansion, told reporters assembled there that the budget will have “pain.” He added that spending is likely to increase in the budget proposal, but he did not give a specific figure.
“It may be slightly more. The problem with the deficit is that we’re seeing these incredible percentage increases in Medicaid,” Skelos said.
Skelos added that the governor talked about “fairness throughout the state” and to education.
“The details are going to be left for tomorrow, but there’s going to be pain,” Skelos said.
Sampson said “there may be some surprises but it’s not going to be as bad” as initially believed.
Kolb said the governor asked the lawmakers to “keep things under wraps.”
“I think it was a very good, honest give and take with us,” Kolb said, adding that the governor didn’t go into deep detail.
The comments offered up by the lawmakers reflect what Cuomo has said for much of the day today, namely that the cuts and deficit may not be as bad as initially reported, thanks to the “sham” budgeting the governor wrote about in his op/ed today.