Assembly Democrats will announce the expected passage of a $9 minimum wage bill today, with the intention of including it in the 2013-14 budget. But that’s not all. Assembly sources indicated several members want to include immigration reform and college aid–the DREAM Act–when they prepare their version of the budget early next week.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver hopes to add proposals, but gave few specifics. “This is a complicated budget. It’s going to take a lot of meetings both on our level and on staff level in order to have an on-time budget,” he told reporters on Monday. “There’s a lot of discussion about a lot of things. It’s not our intention to be specific.”
So far, the two most contentious issues, minimum wage and casino gambling, have not been included in either budget, according to Senate and Assembly leaders. “We don’t need to have the whole gaming issue,” Senate Republican Conference leader Dean Skelos said. “It’s not time sensitive right now, in my opinion. The budget is time sensitive.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo dismissed questions about specific budget proposals. “We don’t have a budget, so we can have this speculative conversation, ‘Is minimum wage in, is minimum wage out?’ It’s going to depend on what happens in the final two days,” he said. “Is it in the budget session in April or the budget closeout? You take up the issue when you have consensus on the issue.”