A marathon St. Patrick’s Day negotiating session did not lead to an agreement on a state spending plan, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders inch closer to a self-imposed goal for an end-of-the-week deal.
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, Independent Democratic Leader Jeff Klein and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver met with Cuomo behind closed doors for about 3 1/2 hours Sunday, but didn’t have much to report after they emerged.
“There’s nothing agreed to until everything is agreed to,” Silver told reporters. “We’re making a lot of progress for an on-time budget and the details ultimately will be forthcoming when everything is agreed to.”
When asked about a possible “training wage” being established as part of talks, both Skelos and Silver said everything is on the table as they continue negotiating.
The state Legislature is scheduled to take its holiday recess beginning Friday, meaning Cuomo and the leaders would have to come to a deal early this week to vote on the budget before then. The state’s budget deadline is March 31.
Two issues still on the table: A potential increase in the state’s minimum wage and a possible early extension of the “millionaire’s tax”—an income-tax surcharge on the state’s top earners set to expire at the end of 2014.
“It’s one of the things that’s being discussed,” Skelos said of the millionaire’s tax. “The governor brought it up. We’re going to discuss it.”