Lawmakers behind closed doors discussing budget deal

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State lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo were meeting behind closed doors this morning to hash the final pieces of the 2013-14 budget.

The sides appear set to agree to increase the minimum wage over three years. It is currently $7.25 an hour, and Democrats want to increase it to $9 an hour in January.

But in a deal with Senate Republicans, the Legislature’s agreement expects to call for a minimum-wage increase over three years — to $8 an hour in 2014, $8.75 in 2015 and $9 in 2016 — and extend higher income-tax rates on millionaires past 2014, when they are set to expire.

The higher income tax rate would bring in about $2 billion in tax revenue for the state, and lawmakers indicated they plan to provide $700 million in tax breaks for businesses and families.

Lawmakers are also discussing with Cuomo how to divvy up about $550 million in revenue for the budget year, which starts April 1. Lawmakers said they want to add $290 million in school aid to the roughly $21 billion education budget, but they haven’t outlined how they would spend the money.

Cuomo has also proposed to keep an energy tax on companies and customers, but business groups are seeking to beat back the measure. Also, businesses are trying to thwart Cuomo’s plan to limit the power of the state’s Industrial Development Agencies.

Lawmakers and Cuomo are seeking a deal today — to allow for a three-day waiting period for bills to be approved Thursday. The Legislature is set to start its spring recess on Friday.

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2 Comments

  1. North of the Hutch on

    Dump the energy tax!

    Why aren’t Senators Latimer & Stewart-Cousins on board? Why do they only support tax increases and never a tax cut? We could do so much better than these 2.