Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, said his house was ready to take up budget bills as well tonight, with some state operations measures, transportation, economic development and environmental spending bills all on the docket.
It was a bit of a reversal from earlier today, when Skelos hedged with The New York Daily News in the possibility of having an early budget. The state’s budget is due Friday, the start of the 2011-12 fiscal year.
“It’s critically important that we get a budget early,” Skelos said. “That’s the focus of the Senate.”
Asked if Gov. Andrew Cuomo had placed a call to his office to nudge him along in the budget-passing process, Skelos said the opposite was the case.
“Fred, the honest truth is I called him today and said I wanted the budget bills started today,” Skelos said.
He added that it was important to get voting done over the next two days in order to avoid last-minute pitfalls that tear apart Albany budget accords.
“It sends a message and it keeps the momentum going. I don’t want the Legislature or the governor, to be bogged down in what prevents a budget,” he said.
Here’s some video with Skelos and reporters: