State budget update: No agreement in sight

Saturday was another day of negotiating for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers, but with no agreement on the already late budget as of the early evening.

Cuomo and legislative leaders once again failed to reach a compromise, with the main sticking point continuing to be on “Raise the Age,” a proposal to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18. Lawmakers said nothing had changed in the negotiations after state Senate Republicans conferenced Saturday afternoon, despite reports of progress Friday night.

Despite the lack of a deal, other lawmakers expressed optimism.

“I think we’re all on the same page,” Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein said after a meeting on Saturday, according toState of Politics. “We want to make sure our young people have a bright future, not be part of a criminal justice system where they are incarcerated and not rehabilitated.”

Klein has insisted that the “Raise the Age” proposal be included in the budget, although he partners with the state Senate Republicans, who have raised concerns about it. New York is one of two states where 16- and 17-year-olds are tried as adults. 

Lawmakers plan to return on Sunday to continue discussions. They face a Sunday night ultimatum given by the governor, who said in a statement Friday night that he would give lawmakers the weekend to find a compromise, but then will issue an emergency budget extender if they fail.