Assembly pushes back budget votes to Thursday (Updated)

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The state Assembly said today it will push back voting on the state budget until Thursday because budget bills have yet to be printed. The Senate has yet to decide whether it would do the same.

Lawmakers were set to return to the Capitol on Sunday night to vote on the $135 billion budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, which starts April 1.

But budget bills would have needed to have been printed by Friday night in order to have a marathon voting session that was expected to extend from Sunday night into early Monday morning.

With the Jewish holiday of Passover to start Monday night and carry through Wednesday, the Democratic-led Assembly has decided to convene Thursday morning to pass the dozen or so budget bills in order to beat the April 1 deadline, said an Assembly spokesman.

A Senate spokesman said no decision has been made on whether to delay session.

Updated: The Senate said they will still go into session at 3 p.m. Sunday and hope to finish up on Monday night into Tuesday.

Because Gov. Andrew Cuomo has insisted on a three-day waiting period for budget bills to be adopted and because some have yet to be printed, the earliest some bills could be voted on would be Tuesday — including the important education spending bill, which decides how much aid each school district receives.

So if the Senate were to go ahead with the Sunday votes, they would have to come back the earliest on Tuesday to finish up — and cut into the planned spring recess for the Legislature that started last Friday.

It’s a peculiar scheduling year for the budget season. Since Passover and Easter are early this year, the legislative calendar was moved up a week and the original goal was to have the budget finished by last Friday.

But Cuomo has cautioned that the Legislature has until April 1 to pass a budget, and it appears they’ll cut it closer to the deadline that originally planned.

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