The state Senate will work through the night Tuesday to pass a budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, which starts April 1.
Budget bills are set for approval Tuesday and Wednesday, and Senate leaders have decided to work through the night to pass the roughly dozen bills. The Senate, which is run by a coalition of Republicans and Democrats, is set to convene at about 5 p.m.
The Democratic-led Assembly plans to meet Thursday to approve the $135 billion budget.
The budget closes a $1.3 billion budget gap and increases spending for schools by more than $1 billion, to a total of $21 billion. It includes a deal to extend higher income taxes on millionaires and provide $350 rebate checks to families with children in late 2014.
The budget also includes tax breaks for businesses and includes a three-year phase of an increase in the minimum wage—from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour by 2016.
The legislative calendar was moved up a week because of the Passover and Easter holidays, and the original goal was to have the budget finished by last Friday. But the budget bills weren’t printed in time as the sides wrangled over the final details.
Barbara Bartoletti, legislative director for the state League of Women Voters, criticized the Legislature for the overnight session, saying it limits the public’s ability to watch the proceedings.
Negotiations were conducted behind closed doors between Cuomo and legislative leaders, she said, and lawmakers didn’t complete a final round of budget conference committees—when they are supposed to publicly air the details of the budget.
“This whole process has been horrible,” Bartoletti said.
Former Senate Republican Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, Rensselaer County, barred late-night legislative sessions after a Long Island senator, Michael Tully, died of a heart attack in 1997 after returning home from an all-night session.